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Public has chance to weigh in on marine reserves.

Byline: Winston Ross The Register-Guard

By 2014 there will be five marine reserves in place along the Oregon Coast - areas where fishing, wave energy and other impacts to the ecosystem will be banned.

Although that's no longer negotiable, there remains some wiggle room in the way the state applies the rules to the most recently approved reserves: at Cape Perpetua, Cascade Head and Cape Falcon.

At a series of public meetings on the coast that began last week and continue Monday and Tuesday, attendees can influence the details.

The reserves, created by the Legislature with Senate Bill 1510 in the 2012 session, have boundaries established, along with rules drafted about what kinds of activity are allowed in them and the less-restrictive, associated marine protected areas. The meetings provide a chance for the public to speak up in case those drafted rules are somehow flawed, said Cristen Don, marine reserves program leader for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

In some areas, "forage fish" such as sardines and anchovies can't be harvested, for example, but there's no clear definition of what a forage fish is.

"There's a little bit of interpretation there," Don said. "We have to provide some further definition."

For more information, go online to rgne.ws/O2pKHv.

The public also can submit written comments, by July 27, to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: Marine Reserves, 2040 S.E. Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR 97365, or to odfw.marinereserves@state.or.us. Comments also can be directed to DLS at Rules Coordinator, Marine Reserves, 775 Summer St. N.E., Suite 100, Salem, OR 97301 or to marine reservesrules@dsl.state.or.us.

Upcoming marine reserves meetings:

6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday: Florence Events Center, 715 Quince Street in Florence.

6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday: Depoe Bay Community Hall, 220 SE Bay Street in Depoe Bay.
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Title Annotation:Local News
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jun 24, 2012
Words:316
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