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About South Slough Reserve

South Slough Reserve

The South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (South Slough Reserve) is a 5,900-acre natural area located in the Coos estuary on the south coast of Oregon. The Reserve was designated in 1974 as the first unit of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS), a network of estuary habitats protected and managed for the purposes of long-term research, education, and coastal stewardship. 

Established by Congress in 1972 as part of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), the NERRS is administered as a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the coastal states. In Oregon, the South Slough Reserve is affiliated with both NOAA and the Oregon Department of State Lands. The Reserve's immediate governing body is the South Slough NERR Management Commission whose members are appointed by the Governor of Oregon.

The South Slough Reserve encompasses a mixture of open water channels, tidal and freshwater wetlands, riparian areas and forested uplands. The reserve supports and coordinates research, education and stewardship programs that serve to enhance a scientific and public understanding of estuaries and contribute to improved estuarine management. Since 1974, South Slough Reserve has grown in the depth and scope of its programs and has developed facilities to meet the needs of visitors and staff.

Temporary Trail Closures at South Slough Reserve:

Work on the Ten-Minute Trail, adjacent to the South Slough Visitor Center, will result in partial closure of this trail and the Middle Creek trail. The Middle Creek Trail will be accessible from the lower parking lot and the Hidden Creek Trail head; however, the Visitor Center will NOT be accessible from the Middle Creek Trail. There will be signs at the trail heads alerting people of closures.  Reserve staff endeavor to open them as much as possible throughout this period.

Ten minute and upper section of Middle Creek Trail closed on Wednesday, November 13-Thursday, November 14.

The north-western section of the Ten-Minute Trail and the North Creek Trail will remain open at this time. 

Questions about trails? Contact Reserve Public Involvement Coordinator Deborah Rudd | | (541)-888-5558 ext. 158 

DSL announces public comment period open on South Slough Reserve commercial guide rules

NEWS RELEASE – for immediate release

View real-time data for South Slough Reserve, Valino Island

View real-time data for South Slough Reserve, Toms Creek

Reserve Partners



Canoe on South Slough photo

Estuaries: where rivers meet the sea



South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
61907 Seven Devils Road
Charleston, OR 97420
Phone: 541-888-5558

Open Tuesday-Saturday
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

The Visitor Center will be closed November 28 - 30

Trails and waterways are open daily from dawn to dusk.

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