Oregon Coast Alliance Newsletter
Facebook Community Meeting and Other News
Facebook Project: Virtual Community Meeting Friday, October 2nd

Edge Cable Equipment for Submarine Cable in Tierra del Mar, March 2020. Courtesy Ed Ruttledge.
The Facebook debacle drags on. After abandoning a pile of drilling equipment under the seafloor as the result of an accident on April 28, Facebook is trying to resurrect the project. The company has negotiated with the Department of State Lands for an opportunity to try a second time to drill the submarine cable they propose to land at Tierra Del Mar. DSL and the company have agreed to a revised easement that requires only a small ($250,000) fine from Facebook, and an increase in the bonding surety to $100,000 - an insignificant amount if the state ends up having to pay clean-up costs. A geotechnical study is yet to come.

But the Tierra del Mar community is not so easily pacified. Recognizing this, Facebook has set up a virtual community meeting, in hopes of communicating directly with Tierra del Mar residents about the second attempt to drill the submarine cable. The meeting is as follows:

Friday, October 2, 2020
5:00-6:00 PM
Call-in: (855) 756-7520, Extension 66691# (Audio only)
The Bandon Beach Hotel Proposal: Still in the Twilight

Revised Bandon Beach Hotel, View from the Southwest. Courtesy City of Bandon.
The Bandon City Council approved the permit for the Keiser Bandon Beach Hotel proposal in 2019. However, the project cannot move forward without the other half of the process: Plan Review. This is a secondary, but very important, process that considers whether the project meets design review and related criteria for a project of this type. Given that the proposal to replace the current shoddy, old motel with a much larger glass hotel that would (among other things) impact the adjacent Coquille Point Unit of Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, it is important to focus on the Plan Review details as soon as they become available to the public.

The developer submitted a Plan Review application to the city of Bandon in September 2020, but it is not yet ready for public comment. As a limited land use decision, the city has decided there will be no initial public hearing, but there will be opportunities for public participation. Stay tuned.
The Parks Department and Its Financial Troubles

 Gold Sunset on the Beach. Courtesy OPRD.
The people of Oregon own all the state's ocean beaches. But Oregonians also own about half of the state's coastlands above the vegetation line in a string of magnificently beautiful state parks stretching from Astoria to Brookings. These are managed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Of all the state parks, the coastal ones are the most popular by far, visited by thousands of Oregonians every year, not to mention outside visitors.

The Parks Department is funded mainly by Oregon Lottery funds (along with camping/parking fees and RV registration fees), rather than General Fund monies. But lottery funds went into a downward spiral as a result of the extensive public health restrictions put in place in March 2020. The Oregonian reported in June that OPRD had to lay off forty-seven full-time employees, and were unable to hire nearly 400 seasonal staff, just when the public use of the coastal parks was higher than ever in Summer 2020.

Public health and safety are at issue with crowds on the beaches and few seasonal staff to clean toilets, patrol beaches, answer complaints and deal with all the needs of highly popular state parks during the peak season. ORCA does not know what the solution is to the OPRD budget, but we call upon legislators and state officials to recognize that Oregon's jewels - the coastal state parks - are in danger. The Parks Department needs serious budgetary assistance from some quarter to tide them over until Lottery funds recover, if they ever do. We must not jeopardize the public health and safety of our most treasured parks.
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Contact Information
Contact Executive Director Cameron La Follette by email
or phone: 503-391-0210
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