The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has released rules for three new marine reserves on the Oregon Coast. The reserves will protect species like rockfish, shrimp, and sardines that live near the shore.
The Legislature has approved an expansion of Oregon's small system of marine reserves. After a brief debate, the House voted 57-2 on Tuesday to pass the bill creating three new marine reserves in state waters, for a total of five. Senate Bill 1510 now goes to the governor, who says he will sign it.
In the Northwest, state legislatures will be asked to vote on several environmental issues. Oregon lawmakers will look at expanding marine reserves off the coast. The Washington Legislature is considering a ban on cancer-causing agents in children’s products. In Boise, state lawmakers will pursue a land swap with the federal government to expand logging in northern Idaho.
The waters off Port Orford, Oregon, have seen a steady decline in the numbers of rockfish because of over-fishing. But soon the area will be protected and fishing will be banned. Scientists are working with fishermen to ensure the health of fish and their habitats.