Public & Precious
Published: 07/01/2016 Updated: 08/13/2019
View from Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach, Oregon
Photo by Gary Hayes
As America's National Park Service turns 100-years-old, this summer is a good time to celebrate the glory of Oregon's public coast.
Growing up in Oregon, I never realized that public access to beaches wasn't a given everywhere. In Oregon, we can walk for miles on our beaches and explore stunning landscapes at the edge of the Pacific. Our public lands and beaches make all this possible and as America's National Park Service turns 100-years-old this summer, it's a good time to celebrate the preciousness of public lands and the foresight of preserving them for all to enjoy. The Oregon Coast is home to priceless recreational resources open to all. Oregon's history of preserving its beaches and scenic coastline for public use is also more than a century-long effort and the result is what we enjoy today, over 350 miles of stunning shoreline with access all along the way. In 1913, the state passed a law declaring the beaches to be a public highway, keeping them a public resource until Oregon's Beach Bill in 1967 made public access to the shoreline permanent. Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of that historic bill. Today, efforts continue to set aside more public lands and steward these cherished resources for future generations. As you survey the coastline from Ecola State Park, explore the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, hike the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor or discover our other public lands, you'll experience some of the world's most remarkable natural areas and enjoy extraordinary access to this coastline and beaches set aside for the people. Thank you, Oregon!