Planning for Improved Public Access on the Oregon Coast

Coastal Public Access ThumbnailOregon communities benefit in many ways from the availability of public access to nature and waters, including intrinsic benefits as well as economic benefits, improved health outcomes, and an increased stewardship ethic for the coast. Public access to coastal shorelines is an important economic driver for local communities and should be carefully managed to balance recreation and tourism needs with the protection of coastal habitats.

Oregon’s public access to coastal shorelines faces multiple challenges, including sea level rise impacts, coastal erosion, unbalanced use, insufficient facilities, lack of accessible infrastructure, and encroachment by other uses. Additionally, the delicate balance between increased public access and the negative environmental impacts that increased visitation may cause, requires careful consideration. Striking this balance is crucial to preserving Oregon’s coastal landscapes while protecting and increasing access sites, fostering community connection, and ensuring accessibility. Navigating these issues requires informed planning, collaboration, and a proactive approach to safeguard Oregon’s coastal public access for future generations.

In conjunction with publishing the Oregon’s Coastal Public Access Guide for Local Government Planners, the Oregon Coastal Management Program has created an online Public Access Planning Tool for local governments and tribes to better understand vulnerabilities of coastal access sites, aid in the planning for improvements to sites to increase accessibility and amenities, and to discover where gaps in access amenities may be located. This tool aims to provide critical data and information on specific access sites within a jurisdiction to better aid in informed decision-making in the preservation and enhancement of coastal shorelines.

 Public Access Guide Cover    Public Access Planning Tool Thumbnail
Coastal Public Access Guide for Local Government Planners    Public Access Planning Tool 

Information displayed within the tool is intended to help local governments assess the vulnerability of access sites, where access sites and amenities are located and where different amenities are insufficient for community needs. The tool can aid in understanding where ideal locations might occur for additional access site, avoiding vulnerable locations and where sensitive habitats and species may occur, and may also be useful to local governments in applications for funding to increase access sites and help improve coastal access amenities.

This tool was developed by the Oregon Coastal Management Program, which is administered by the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. Multiple partners and members of the Coastal Access Advisory Team also provided review and support for these resources.

The project was funded by a §309 Project of Special Merit grant, awarded to the Oregon Coastal Management Program under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, administered by the Office for Coastal Management, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


Network News

Feed not found.

Recent Data

Our most recent data added relates to all the interesting Ocean planning going on in Oregon. You can view an RSS feed of that data here.

Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you!

You can send feedback or ideas to the Coastal Atlas team at:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.