Your Voice Needed to Protect the Yaquina Estuary

Please urge state and county agencies to update and strengthen the Yaquina Estuary Management Plan, incorporating the best policies to protect key wetland habitats, fish and wildlife while supporting the local economy. 

Where Oregon’s forests and rivers meet the ocean, estuaries are the engines that power salmon, thousands of migratory birds, Dungeness crab, oysters, cultural resources and jobs for many in coastal communities. The Yaquina Estuary Management Plan is being updated with an opportunity for public comment right now! It will serve as a blueprint for estuary management plan updates for nearly 20 other major estuaries in Oregon. Originally written in 1982, the Yaquina plan is in much need of an update as climate change issues have emerged, several impacted species have been listed as endangered, and habitat restoration has become recognized as a vital conservation tool.

Coos Bay / Sunset Bay State Park
Coos Bay / Sunset Bay State Park, photo by Rick Obst


Please send comments to Ethan Brown at by 5 p.m. on Friday, July 14.

See Key Talking Points below.

Dungeness Crab in Eel grass, photo by J. Brew.

Key Talking Points

A new Draft Yaquina Estuary Management Plan has just been released to the public. It’s a good start, but more needs to be done to strengthen the plan. Please send in a comment with these recommendations:

    • Briefly describe why healthy Oregon estuaries are important to you. If you have birded, fished, kayaked, eaten local seafood, etc. from the Yaquina or any of Oregon’s estuaries please say so in your comment.
    •  Please thank the Willamette Partnership, agencies, and advisory group for the updates in the current draft Yaquina Estuary Management Plan. They have included climate vulnerability considerations, a list of restoration/mitigation sites, and have developed a mapping tool to help guide management decisions.
    • Urge that the plan must commit to a second phase update process to flesh out key parts of the plan including: a full comprehensive restoration plan, reevaluation of the Management Unit section of the plan with new resource inventory information (currently not incorporated in the plan). 
    •  Statewide Planning Goal 17 (Estuarine shorelands) should be updated simultaneously with Goal 16 (Estuarine Resources) since adjacent shoreland habitats will be impacted by expected sea level rise. Currently the update process has only considered Goal 16.
    • Please provide for public comment on the statewide guidance document that will provide a framework for updating other Oregon estuary management plans. 

Thank you for taking action to protect Yaquina Estuary by this Friday, July 14th!

Additional Resources:

Yaquina Bay Estuary Management Plan Update website
Bird Alliance of Oregon Oregon Eelgrass and Estuaries website