Summer is officially here!
For many, this means trips to many of the beautiful destinations our state has to offer, including the Oregon Coast. While you’re out with your friends and family at the coast this summer, you may see a wide variety of wildlife thriving in their natural habitats like sea stars, seals, birds and plant life. We want to take a moment to share with you how we’re working to help bring back one of Oregon’s most famous and most endangered members of the coastal community: the sea otter.
Image: Oregon Coast Aquarium
Since 2001, the Elakha Alliance, named for the Chinook word for sea otters, has been working to help re-establish the presence of sea otters on the Oregon Coast after they were hunted to extinction by the 1900s. Since their elimination from our ecosystems, towns like Otter Rock and Otter Point often serve as reminders of the impact they had on Oregon and its history. The Elakha Alliance is made up of leaders throughout the state, ranging from university professors to attorneys to leaders from the Coquille and Siletz tribes. As a fiscal sponsor, we are determined to bring otters back to Oregon's coast by sponsoring Elakha and raising awareness and promoting research on sea otters, their history and their impact on the environment.
Bringing sea otters back to the Oregon Coast has more benefits than you would imagine. As a keystone species, sea otters have a significant impact on their ecosystems. Their diet partially consists of sea urchins, which can cause immense damage to oceanic plantlife like kelp when left unregulated. The increased presence of sea otters could also have a positive economic impact, especially for commercial fishers and businesses who rely on active tourism like restaurant and hotel owners.
Image: The Oregon Zoo
Our coastal region is known for its beauty and biodiversity, which allows for thousands of species to exist harmoniously and create an environment we all enjoy. The Elakha Alliance’s work to reintroduce a keystone species will one day give current and future Oregonians the chance to learn about the Oregon Coast’s history in its natural habitat.
You can help us bring back the sea otters! At the Oregon Wildlife Foundation we want to bring the sea otters and all the good they do for the environment and economy back to the Oregon Coast -- but we can’t do it without support from people like you. Please take a moment to join us and help us build a better future for Oregon’s wildlife!