Cape Foulweather and Cape Lookout should be protected as Marine Conservation Areas under Oregon’s new Rocky Habitat Management Strategy, according to the Audubon Society of Lincoln City.

Capes Foulweather and Lookout are home to some of the largest colonies of nesting sea birds along the Oregon coast, have high ecological value and are relatively inaccessible. Both areas also have significant kelp beds just offshore which serve as nurseries for a wide variety of marine species.

While the goal of the Marine Conservation Area designation is to conserve the natural ecosystem by limiting adverse impacts to habitat and wildlife, Audubon’s proposed designations call for no change in coastwide regulations for recreational or commercial fishing.

For the first time in 25 years, the state of Oregon is updating its Rocky Habitat Management Strategy and is asking community groups to submit proposals urging protective designations for coastal rocky habitats. The deadline for submitting proposals is December 31.

For Cape Foulweather, Lincoln City Audubon is proposing that a Marine Conservation Area designation be applied to rocky habitat from Whale Cove south to just short of the existing Marine Garden at Otter Rock. At Cape Lookout, Audubon urges that both the north and south sides of the cape be included in a Marine Conservation Area designation.

Dawn Villaescusa, President of the Audubon Society of Lincoln City, is thrilled that the state has given community groups the opportunity to help conserve key rocky habitats that residents and tourists alike treasure.

“Our investment in the Rocky Habitat Management process will reap benefits for not only the birds and other wildlife, but also for future generations of Oregonians,” Villaescusa said.

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