The public will soon have an opportunity to participate in updating Oregon’s Rocky Habitat Management Strategy.
Haystack Rock is a protected area under Part 3 of Oregon’s Territorial Sea Plan, said Deanna Caracciolo, the Rocky Shores coordinator for the Oregon Coastal Management Plan. A public-comment period is scheduled for November, followed by a public-proposal period beginning in January 2020.
The Haystack Rock Awareness Program, started by the city in 1985, provides the public with information about Haystack Rock and its marine garden, said Melissa Keyser, the program’s director. “We have a wonderful diversity of seabirds that nest at the rock,” Keyser said. “The tide pool has different fish, crabs, barnacles and mussels.”
The coast of Oregon has five marine reserves to protect its biodiversity, she said. “In Oregon, the beaches are owned by everyone. (Haystack Rock has) the largest group of puffins that can be seen from the shore and the second-largest colony of puffins in Oregon.”
Added Keyser, “(Haystack Rock) is the most beautiful monolith you can walk up to the entire year, with this vast diversity of wildlife.”
Keyser said that, “Our population of seabirds has been decreasing over the past couple of decades. That is a concern to us.” Ocean conditions are changing and there are “fewer fish for the birds to feed off. The ocean is becoming more acidic.”
Charlie Plybon, Oregon policy manager for the Surfrider Foundation, said the public soon will have the opportunity to “engage in the designation process.” How that process will be defined is now under discussion. He said that on Dec. 11, the public can hear a presentation at 7 p.m. at the Cannon Beach Library, and at 7 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Pine Grove Community House in Manzanit.