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​​Ocean Science Trust

About the Oregon Ocean Science Trust

The 2013 Legislature established the Oregon Ocean Science Trust and Fund (ORS 196.565-570). The duties of the Trust are to:
  • Promote peer-reviewed, competitive research and monitoring that leads to increased knowledge and understanding of Oregon's ocean and coastal resources.
  • Promote innovative, collaborative, community-oriented, multi-institutional approaches to research and monitoring related to Oregon's ocean and coastal resources.
  • Enhance the state's capacity for peer-reviewed scientific ocean and coastal research.
  • Subject to available funding, establish and execute a competitive grant program to conduct research and monitoring related to Oregon's ocean and coastal resources.
The Department of State Lands is responsible for providing a facility and administrative support for the meetings of the Trust as needed. The Oregon Ocean Science Fund is established in the State Treasury.


The Trust is composed of five voting members appointed by the State Land Board, and two nonvoting members from the legislature (one Senator and one Representative). The voting members of the Trust are:
  • Executive Director Laura Anderson: Owner, Local Ocean Seafood and Commissioner, Former Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commissioner (Newport)
  • Jim Sumich: Ph.D., retired, former Professor of Marine Biology and Zoology at Grossmont Community College (CA), marine mammal expert and marine biology textbook author (Corvallis) 
  • Krystyna Wolniakowski: Executive Director, Columbia River Gorge Commission and former Director, Northwest Region, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (Lake Oswego)
  • Steve Marx: Officer, US Oceans, Pacific, Pew Charitable Trusts (Portland)
  • Shelby Walker: Executive Director, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University (Corvallis)
The two nonvoting members from the Legislature are: 

Rulemaking Efforts

2020 Rule Change - OOST Fundraising and Grants

The Oregon Ocean Science Trust is conducting rulemaking in partnership with the Department of State Lands (DSL), allowing the OOST to work with private, nonprofit organizations for fundraising purposes as a result of Senate Bill 753 (2019). Broadly, SB 753 (codified as ORS 196.570), allows the OOST executive director to enter into formal agreements with nonprofit organizations, under which the nonprofit shall solicit gifts, grants, and donations in support of the Trust’s work. The resulting rule change clarifies the OOST’s authority and the parameters for entering into such agreements. 

DSL filed a temporary rule change, effective March 1, 2020, and has been engaged in the rulemaking process since April 2020. The Department held two rule advisory committee (RAC) meetings on April 23 and May 8 to review and comment on the proposed rule language and fiscal impact statement. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was filed with the Secretary of State on June 1, 2020, and the public comment period ran from June 1 through July 1. One public hearing was held remotely by Zoom on June 16, 2020. After going to the OOST for approval at their July 10 meeting, the rule will be filed permanent, effective August 13, 2020.

Rulemaking materials, including the rule text, supporting documentation, and SOS filings, are found on DSL's website here.

2016 Rule Change - Competitive Grant Program

The Trust has completed rulemaking to establish a competitive grant program which started in October 2016. The Trust adopted a set of priority nearshore research and monitoring questions that the state would like answered in order to make informed management and policy decisions in Oregon's nearshore. The purpose of the grant program is to fund projects that will answer these questions. 

A RAC was convened for this effort. The RAC met on October 28, 2016, at DSL and on November 14, 2016, at ODFW headquarters. The draft rule was available for public comment from March 1 to April 14, 2017. A public hearing was held on March 16, 2017, at Newport City Hall. No comments were received. The Trust reviewed and approved the draft rules at their June 1, 2017, regular meeting. The final rule became effective on July 1, 2017.   

Oregon Coast photo


Department of State Lands

Andrea Celentano
Policy & Legislative Analyst
Phone: 503-986-5217

Kaitlyn Wiggins
Rules & Records Coordinator
Phone: 503-986-5279

Governor's Natural Resource Office

Jason Miner
Natural Resources Policy Director

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