Coho salmon spawn in the Oregon Coast Range. Jim Yuscavitch© Jim Yuscavitch

Oregon Coast Coho Business Plan

Oregon Coast Coho Business Plan

Developing a “game plan” with local communities to support coho recovery, ecosystem health, and economies.

Wild Salmon Center has partnered with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA Restoration Center, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to build a “Business Plan” for the conservation of Oregon Coast coho. The goal is to develop a game plan with local communities for voluntary habitat protection and restoration projects that will help recover threatened and endangered populations of coho.

The Oregon Coast Coho Business Plan will:

  1. Present a unique opportunity to funders: Recover Oregon Coast coho through strategic community-based projects;
  2. Detail the costs and anticipated outcomes of high-priority habitat protection and restoration projects on the Oregon Coast;
  3. Provide a community-level approach that will integrate with overall federal coho recovery plans.

Local Action Plans for Coho

Nehalem River, Oregon
The Nehalem River | © Dave Martin

Projects included in the Business Plan are generated through a one-year planning process with local communities using a science-based framework. Local strategic action plans outline priority habitat protection and restoration projects – things such as wetlands conservation, streamside planting, and culvert removal. WSC worked with state and federal partners to develop this framework and is testing it in three pilot watersheds – the Nehalem, Siuslaw, and Elk Rivers. We will incorporate the highest priority projects identified in these pilot plans into the Coast Coho Business Plan.

Addressing Coastal Priorities

Wild Salmon Center has taken on coast coho recovery as a long term organizational priority. Like our partners in this effort, we envision the Coast Coho Business Plan as a living document, in which new local actions plans are incorporated as they are completed.

In addition to helping state and federal partners work towards recovery and de-listing of Oregon Coast coho, WSC is confident that the Business Plan can address other coastal priorities; most notably, maintaining instream flows, meeting water quality standards, preparing for potential changes in floodplain management, and stimulating job creation in rural communities.

Ongoing implementation of this program will ensure that the best available science informs local conservation efforts, while leveraging state, federal, and private funds to accelerate implementation of critical projects. Accordingly, we are working with Congressional leaders such as Senator Jeff Merkley to bring federal agencies to the table to talk about conservation priorities on the Oregon Coast. We believe coordinated state and federal investments are essential if coastal stakeholders are to achieve the shared goals of recovering coho and improving watershed health and economic security throughout the region.

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