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Protect What You Love - The Legacy of Oswald West

In 1913 Governor Oswald West, concerned with private exploitation of resources, established Oregon's beach highway law, proclaiming the entire Pacific coastline to the high tide line to be a public highway, thus protecting our natural resources and beach access for future generations. Today all Oregonians can enjoy the fruits of his foresight, especially at the incredible State Park that bears his name, also known to many as "shorties", Short Sands Beach, or Cape Falcon.

Almost 100 years later, in 2012, Oregon completed the designation of five Marine Reserves, one of which is Cape Falcon, with the intent to conduct scientific research and monitoring of these living laboratories to better understand their contribution to the health of Oregon's ocean. Like Oswald West’s beach highway law, the Marine Reserve legislation protects the bounty below the surface, just as we have above on land. The Surfrider Foundation has partnered with the The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society, Coast Range Association, Oceana and the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition on the Oregon Marine Reserves Partnership to ensure the success of protecting these very special places.

As the population of Oregon grows, so will the impact, both on land and in the sea. In an effort to protect the particular place we love, the Portland Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation is launching the Oswald West Committee.  This group is focused on developing programs, projects and partnerships that, through education, outreach and direction action, support the stewardship of Oswald West State Park and the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve.

Come learn more and join us in helping preserving what we all love so much about the Oregon coast! At our next Chapter meeting (November 11th – 7:30pm @ Green Dragon Bistro) we will have a presentation on the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve from an all-star cast including: Nadia Gardner of the Friends of Cape Falcon, Dick Vanderschaaf of The Nature Conservancy, and Jim Carlson of the Coast Range Association.

Hope to see you there, on the trail or out in the water!