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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.

See a map of recreation restrictions on the North Coast and the South Coast.

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. Clatsop Spit, Ft. Stevens State Park (OPRD)-newly occupied
  2. Nehalem Spit, Nehalem Bay State Park (OPRD)
  3. Bayocean Spit (USACE)-newly occupied
  4. South Sand Lake, Sitka Sedge State Natural Area (OPRD)
  5. Baker and Sutton Beaches (USFS)
  6. Siltcoos Estuary, Dunes Overlook, and Tahkenitch North (USFS)
  7. Tahkenitch South (USFS)
  8. Tenmile (USFS)
  9. Coos Bay North Spit (BLM and USACE)
  10. Bandon State Natural Area (OPRD)
  11. 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, bikes or other vehicles 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 OPRD uses to indicate a plover management area

Recreation restrictions may be implemented at the following sites, but are not currently in place: North Jetty Umpuqa River (USFS), 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 the future.

Recreation has the potential to negatively affect the snowy plovers that nest on Oregon's beaches. 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. Plover recovery actions are concentrated to 15 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. Image courtesy of Roy Lowe.

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