It’s kind of hard to tell somebody else’s twelve-year-old not to pick the star fish from the tidal pool after they tell you their dad said it was OK. Really? Your dad said that?
Dad missed a fabulous teachable moment. There were hundreds of people on Indian Beach on the north Oregon coast this week. So, let’s say only one-in-twenty decided it was OK to take a sea star home as a souvenir. That would still decimate the shore of sea life in short order.
Nonetheless, a quick check of regulations doesn’t make it clear that what the little kid did isn’t legal. At least outside of protected Marine Wildlife areas.
Luckily, the area around Haystack Rock is a protected area. It has been since 1968. According to the Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP):
“Haystack Rock became a part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge on April 1, 1968, and was given status as a Wilderness Area ten years later. In 1991, Haystack Rock was designated a Marine Garden.”
This weekend marks the anniversary of Oregon’s Open Beaches Law. The showdown was between the owners of the Surfsand Motel, adjacent to Haystack Rock, and then Oregon Governor Tom McCall. Guess who won that battle? The Surfsand had put up sign warning people off the beach. Bad idea.
HRAP is run by volunteers that coordinate with the City of Cannon Beach. While they’re all staffed up for this summer season, they will be looking for additional volunteers soon.
Another group, called Friends of HRAP, does a great job photographing one of our favorite Northwest icons. The photos in our slideshow are from their site. Check them out on Flickr and at http://friendsofhaystackrock.org/.
Photos courtesy of Friends of Haystack Rock Awareness Program. FOHRAP.
Become a volunteer with the Haystack Rock Awareness Program:
503-436-8060 or TTY 503-436-8097
City of Cannon Beach
Watch Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “Oregon Experience” documentary about the debate over open beaches.
Oregon Experience: Beach Bill
Check this site to find out more about this year’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of open beaches. It’s put together by Oregon State Parks:
Celebrate the Shore
Oregon Historical Society info about the fight to keep the shore open:
Oregon History Project: Fight for the Beaches
- Oregon Open Beach Law (squidknot.com)
- I Can’t Go To The Beach Today But I Still Need To Sea Otter (squidknot.com)