to Recover Coast Coho
The watersheds that drain the 300-mile Oregon coast contain some of the most intact and diverse salmon ecosystems south of British Columbia. However, federal Endangered Species Act listings of the state’s two coast coho runs indicate that 160 years of resource extraction has jeopardized the health of Oregon’s coastal watersheds. Projected changes in stream flows and increases in water temperatures resulting from climate change amplify these challenges, highlighting the need for accelerated and strategic watershed restoration.
To address this need, in 2015 the public-private Coast Coho Partnership — which included the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB), Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), NOAA Fisheries, NOAA Restoration Center, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), and Wild Salmon Center (WSC) — convened to support locally-driven efforts to restore coastal watersheds and recover coast coho.
Because Oregon’s coastal watersheds are largely farm and forestland with free-flowing rivers, little hatchery coho production, and a well-regulated coho fishery, Oregon Coast Coho presents a unique opportunity for recovery.