Natural resources in the Pacific Northwest are closely linked to tribal culture and identity. As Oregon’s ocean advisory council works with community groups to update policies for managing the rocky shores, sovereign tribal nations have special status and unique needs.
Seen throughout the Oregon Coast, black oystercatchers are shorebirds that nest high up on large rocks. But as more visitors flock to the Coast, these birds face threats from human disturbance. Advocates think education — and in some places, new restrictions — will help.
Kelp’s leaves and stems grow in coastal waters, sheltering all sorts of organisms — even tiny shrimp eaten by whales. But kelp has been depleted on parts of the Pacific Coast. Now, proposals to update Oregon’s policy for its rocky shores aim to replenish those kelp forests.
Scientists don’t know why some types of sea stars are returning to Oregon while others were hit so hard by disease they’re critically endangered. Continued research at places like Cape Blanco on Oregon’s South Coast could provide insights.