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Beach Seasonal Recreation Restrictions Oregon Coast Plover Management Areas

When planning a visit to Oregon's sandy beaches, be aware of seasonal recreation restrictions that are in place to protect shorebird nesting and the western snowy plover. Please plan your trip to ensure your Oregon Coast visit is enjoyable, safe, and protects our beautiful shore for all.

To see a map of recreation restrictions on the North Coast, click here, and the South Coast, click here.

Recreation restrictions include NO DOGS (even on leash), VEHICLES, BICYCLES, CAMPING, FIRES, KITES (including drones) from March 15 to September 15 in the following locations:
  1. Nehalem Spit, Nehalem Bay State Park (OPRD)
  2. South Sand Lake (OPRD)
  3. Baker and Sutton Beaches (USFS)
  4. Siltcoos Estuary, Dunes Overlook, and Tahkenitch North (USFS)
  5. Tahkenitch South (USFS)
  6. Tenmile (USFS)
  7. Coos Bay North Spit (BLM and USACE)
  8. Bandon State Natural Area (OPRD)
  9. New River/Floras Lake (BLM)

These areas are marked with signs indicating users are in a plover management area and should remain on the wet sand. Beach visitors with dogs or bicycles should plan alternate routes. Note that signs may be higher in the dry sand, and are not specifically marking the wet sand line, as the high tide would wash them away.

 Three types of signs that indicate a plover management area

Recreation restrictions at potential nesting sites include DOGS ON-LEASH, NO VEHICLES, NO BICYCLES from March 15 to July 15 in the following locations:

  1. Clatsop Spit, Fort Stevens State Park (OPRD)
  2. Necanicum Spit, Gearhart Ocean State Recreation Area (OPRD)
  3. North Umpqua (USFS)

Recreation restrictions may be implemented at the following unmanaged sites, but are not currently in place: Bayocean Spit (USACE), Netarts Spit (OPRD), Elk River (Private), and Euchre River (Private) 

Parks and Plovers - why beach visitors share the beach

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is legally responsible for recreation on the Ocean Shore. Our mission balances the public's right to enjoy the natural resources and the need to protect those natural resources for all the future.

Since OPRD manages the Ocean Shore, which can negatively affect the snowy plovers that live there. The plover is a state and federally threatened species, and these negative impacts would be considered take as defined under both state and federal Endangered Species Acts. "Take" describes anything that harms a protected species. Obvious acts like killing or injuring a plover are considered take, but so are not-so-obvious things like chasing, interrupting feeding, or scaring birds off nests. Take doesn't have to be intentional to be serious; it can be an accident.

To protect both the plover and the public's recreational access to Oregon's beaches, OPRD developed the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) with the Federal United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). The HCP provides a balanced roadmap for both people and plovers to share the beach. The HCP concentrates plover recovery actions to 16 areas on the coast.

   Male western snowy plover tending his chick in the dry sand 
 Male western snowy plover tending his chick in the dry sand

Curious about the western snowy plover, and why this little bird needs you to #sharethebeach? Read all about it on our Stewardship Blog!