Saturday, October 24, 2009

Port Orford EBM Conference

West Coast EBM Network 2nd Annual Meeting was held October 21‐23, 2009 in Port Orford, Oregon.

The primary objectives of the meeting were to learn about the Port Orford project in depth and share ideas and opportunities on emerging issues.

Port Orford is one of six community-based initiatives focused on the successful implementation of ecosystem-based management (EBM) along the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California. The Network was formally organized in 2008 (visit the website to learn more about the other projects, including Ventura.)

Having the opportunity to visit these sites and meet the people involved in these community efforts is always interesting. In Port Orford, their effort has resulted in the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT.)

POORT aims to protect their historic fishing grounds through integrated management of a Community Stewardship Area. The knowledge of the local fishermen was used to identify the marine portion of the ecosystem that were most relevant to the management goals. However, POORT also recognized the necessity to include the upland watershed terrestrial portions of their ecosystem that impact the marine portion and associated nearshore fisheries. As a result, their ecosystem planning area also includes roughly ¼ land area and ¾ ocean area.

The specific boundaries of the Community Stewardship Area were based on input gathered at public meetings and workshops in Port Orford. The primary considerations were socioeconomic (e.g., historic fishing grounds) and political (e.g., north and south boundaries are halfway between adjacent ports).

The Port Orford Community Stewardship Area is biologically diverse and encompasses terrestrial, freshwater, intertidal, and ocean environments. The Community Stewardship Area is 1,320 square miles, and includes 385 square
miles of terrestrial habitat and 935 square miles of ocean habitat. The area is 30 miles long (north to south), extends 18 miles offshore (west), and encompasses the Elk and Sixes River watersheds.