Oregon Amends Territorial Sea Plan For Renewable Energy Development

Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Blog, Coastal Development | 0 comments

Oregon coast from NOAA Photo LibraryLast week, Oregon’s Land Conservation and Development Commission approved a Territorial Sea Plan for the Oregon coast. The plan will be the blueprint for how Oregon will conserve and manage coastal resources. The plan, which combines recommendations from the Ocean Policy Advisory Council and the Territorial Sea Plan Advisory Committee identifies 4 areas off the Oregon coast as suitable for future marine renewable energy development. The plan also protects 144 scenic viewsheds, including Cape Perpetua and the Samuel Boardman State Park.

The revision to the Sea Plan is in response to the 2007 passage of Oregon’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard which set renewable energy goals for the state.  To promote clean energy development, Governor Ted Kulongoski ordered the update to the Territorial Sea Plan, the state’s ocean management manual.

According to Surfrider Foundation, the coastal areas set aside for energy, if fully built, would comprise approximately 2% of Oregon’s Territorial Sea, but would avoid sensitive ecological areas, and areas important for recreation. In a blog posting, Surfrider lauds the plan, noting “This plan, when taken as a package represents a significant opportunity for the emerging renewable energy industry, while at the same time protects existing uses of our nearshore such as ocean recreation that are significant contributors to our State economically, socially and culturally.”

Susan Allen, director of Our Ocean, a campaign of Pew Charitable Trusts, said, “Oregon took an important step today by charting a path to a cleaner future.”

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