Orford Reef Rocky Shore

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About the Orford Reef Rocky Shore Area

Orford Reef is found approximately three miles southwest of Cape Blanco, approximately 5 miles northwest of Port Orford, in Curry County, Oregon.
USFWS Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has a voluntary seasonal closure area around Long Brown Rock.
Key Resources
The reef is an important seabird nesting and breeding site for a variety of species including common murres and cormorants. Three species of pinnipeds use this area including threatened Steller sea lions. This is the second largest pupping site for this threatened species in the U.S., south of Alaska (25% of state total). Orford Reef is especially rich in marine life because of the extensive beds of bull kelp that provide cover and upwelling that brings nutrients for marine life. The reef abounds in rockfish (Sebastes spp.), many species of invertebrates including commercially valuable red sea urchins.
  What can you do here?
The reef is an important recreational and commercial fishing area including sea urchin harvest and some SCUBA diving.

Getting to the Rocky shore at Orford Reef

Access is by boat only. The closest boat launch is via the Port of Port Orford, which is approximately six miles southeast of the reef complex, however, all access to offshore rocks is prohibited, as they are important habitat for seabirds and marine mammals.

Who Owns this Site?
Submerged and submersible rocks: Division of State Lands; offshore rocks above Mean High Water: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  Who Manages this Site?
Rocks are managed as part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge; there is a voluntary 1,000-foot-wide seasonal invertebrate harvest closure around the reef during the summer. The National Marine Fisheries Service has designated a 3000-foot wide area around Orford Reef as critical habitat but has enacted no additional regulations.

Data for the Orford Reef Rocky Shore
[5 Records Listed]

Orford Reef Rocky Shore GIS Data
Data Layer

[5 Records Listed]

Information compiled by Laurel Hillmann, NOAA Coastal Management Fellow, OPRD

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