$6.9M for Oregon coastal resilience, ecosystem recovery

The World

Oregon will receive more than $6.9 million in federal funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act to support coastal ecosystem restoration and resilience. 

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have announced the federal grants, which will be distributed to these Oregon projects: 

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, $2,123,667 for conservation of Tidal Wetlands in the Coquille River.

Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development – Coastal Management Program, $4,851,805 for conservation of Collins Creek Confluence and Ocean Shoreline. 

The federal funding is being distributed through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The restoration and conservation of ecologically significant ecosystems, such as wetlands and natural shorelines, will help reduce the impacts of coastal hazards—including flooding and climate change—to property and infrastructure while also providing economic benefits to Oregon’s coastal communities.

Delores Pigsley, Tribal Chairman of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, said she is profoundly grateful for the grant, which marks a significant milestone in the Tribe’s ongoing efforts to preserve its ancestral lands and cultural heritage. 

With the grant support, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians will acquire and safeguard a 42-acre beachfront property that holds immense ecological, cultural, and historical significance. 

“We recognize the urgent need to protect this pristine coastline, not only for the benefit of our tribe but also for the broader community and future generations,” Pigsley said. “By acquiring and managing this property in perpetuity, we honor its sacredness, foster biodiversity, and promote resilience in the face of climate change.”

Pigsley said the grant not only empowers the Tribe to fulfill its stewardship responsibilities but also strengthens the Tribe’s partnership with the state of Oregon in achieving coastal resilience and conservation goals. 

“On behalf of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, I extend our deepest gratitude to all those who have supported this endeavor,” she said.

Senator Wyden, Merkley comments

“The worsening damage from the climate crisis slams our coastal communities with ecosystems absorbing some of the harshest effects such as rising sea levels,” Wyden said. “I’m glad this federal investment from legislation I worked to pass is generating such a big win for the coast, and I will keep battling for resources to protect and restore coastal habitat.”

“Oregon’s coastlines are among the most special natural treasures in our state and are integral to the health and vitality of our communities and local economies,” Merkley said. “The impacts of climate chaos, especially in coastal communities, are becoming more destructive and more frequent—threatening our health, planet, and future. That’s why these funds benefiting coastal resilience and recovery for the Coquille River and Collins Creek Confluence and Ocean Shoreline are so critical.”