The Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve is Oregon’s largest marine reserve. The site is located off the central Oregon coast stretching between the towns of Yachats and Florence. The site includes a marine reserve, two Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and a Seabird Protection Area.
Marine Reserve Area
Marine Protected Areas
Seabird Protected Area
What Makes Cape Perpetua Unique
Beneath the Surface
The rocky shores of the marine reserve and North MPA host some of the most biologically diverse rocky intertidal habitats found anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. Underwater, the reserve and MPAs are dominated by sand and gravel habitats. The site also features a deep, isolated rocky reef home to a wide diversity of groundfish and invertebrates. Upwelling, followed by periods of relaxation, create highly productive waters around the Cape Perpetua area. These waters are also known to experience episodes of hypoxia (low oxygen) and acidification (low pH).
Harvest Restrictions Began
January 1, 2014
Reserve: 37 sq km (14.3 sq mi)
MPAs: 49 sq km (19 sq mi)
0-55 m (0-164 ft)
Mostly soft bottom habitats. Small, low-relief, isolated rocky reef in deeper water. Rocky intertidal habitats.
Isolated rocky reef entirely contained within the reserve.
Prior Fishing Pressure
Relatively moderate fishing pressure on groundfish in rocky reef habitats. Relatively high fishing pressure on crab in soft bottom habitats.
Monitoring Comparison Areas
Seal Rock and Tokatee
ODFW uses the the following tools and sampling intervals to monitor the reserve at Cape Perpetua based on the site’s unique characteristics.
In addition to these activities, their Partners at OSU, PISCO, and ODFW’s Marine Habitat Project are conducting rocky intertidal surveys, hypoxia-ecology studies, and oceanographic surveys at the site.
Find out more About the Science.
Planning a Visit?
For more Cape Perpetua activities, including hikes and viewpoints, visit here to plan your trip.