Oregon Ocean Conservation Fund Protects Coastal Resources

Oregon’s coastline stretches 360 miles with state waters extending three nautical miles from shore. Our ocean hosts abundant and diverse wildlife, plays a crucial role in regulating the climate, and is a significant economic driver supporting coastal tourism, outdoor recreation, and fishing. At the same time, our ocean is facing increased threats from climate change (sea level rise and acidification), biodiversity loss, unsustainable coastal development, and pollution.

Recognizing the importance of a healthy ocean and coast to Oregon’s culture, economy and environment, three foundations, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Lazar Foundation, and The Harder Foundation established an advised fund at Oregon Community Foundation to support nonprofits working on ocean issues. Through the fund, donors can leverage their resources, learn in partnership, and benefit from shared professional support.


The Oregon Ocean Conservation Fund

The Oregon Ocean Conservation Fund facilitates the engagement of coastal residents, communities, and businesses in helping to protect the health of Oregon’s ocean. Historically, the fund has focused primarily on ocean protection by supporting coast-based organizations educating and engaging communities in Oregon’s five marine reserve sites. More recently, this expanded to support the establishment and implementation of five new rocky habitat Cormorant and chickconservation areas. Funding has also gone to support ocean research, education, community science, and evaluating the reintroduction of sea otters to Oregon. The fund is currently evaluating priorities going forward.

Since its establishment in 2017, the Oregon Ocean Conservation Fund has made $866,350 grants to local nonprofit organizations. Grants range from $5,000 to $35,000.


The Oregon Ocean Conservation Fund has awarded 44 grants to 14 organizations. Following are summaries of some of these grants.

Oregon Ocean Science Trust to hold a summit bringing together scientists and policy makers to identify the highest priority ocean and nearshore research priorities and key science questions for Oregon; and to support the 10-year assessment of Oregon’s Marine Reserve Program.

 North Coast Land Conservancy Marine Reserve Program to educate and engage community leaders, businesses, and visitors as well as support research activities in the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve, located off Oswald West State Park between Manzanita and Cannon Beach.

Discover Your Northwest for the Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve to build long-term support for the Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve and Marine Reserve by working with local tourism businesses in the Lincoln City area.

Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition for the Friends of Otter Rock to build stewardship and wildlife protection for Otter Rock Marine Reserve.

Discover Your Northwest for the Cape Perpetua Collaborative to support a group of nongovernmental organizations, businesses, tribes, and government agencies to build public support for the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve near Yachats.

The Ocean Foundation for the Redfish Rocks Community Team to build support for the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve in Port Orford by telling the story of how the marine protected area benefits communities on Oregon’s South Coast and holding the annual summer Redfish Rocks on the Docks event.

Oregon Coast Aquarium for an annual community science event that focuses on finding and identifying as many marine species as possible over a short period of time at Oregon’s marine reserves; and for a communications campaign celebrating the tenth anniversary of Oregon's marine reserves.

The Oregon Coast Trail Foundation to raise awareness about Oregon marine reserves and the Oregon Coast Trail through two videos on two sections of the trail that run along two of Oregon’s marine reserves.

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife for the Oregon Conservation & Recreation Fund to fund the Elakha Alliance to educate and engage the public, Oregon's coastal tribes, and other stakeholders around the potential of restoring sea otters on the Oregon coast.

 Learn MoreOregon Marine Reserves Intertidal Surveys

OCF relies on the generosity of our donors and the work of grantees to create positive impacts across communities. For more information, including how to support the fund, please contact Carlos Garcia, senior program officer, environment, at (503) 227-6846 or cgarcia@oregoncf.org.