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Water: Estuaries and Coastal Watersheds

Tillamook Estuaries

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Summary Information

Year Established: 1994
Location: Oregon
Area of Watershed: 1,451 square kilometers
Priority Management Issues:
habatiat loss/alteration
species loss/decline
fisheries loss/decline
introduced/pest species
Major Habitat Types:
submerged aquatic vegetation (sea grass)
shellfish growing areas
sand/mud/salt flats
freshwater marsh (tidal)
grass/open field
non-wetland forest
riparian/riverine (forested and floodplain)
agricultural land
Federally Endangered or Threatened Species:
northern sea lion
Aleutian Canada goose
brown pelican
marbled murrelet
western snowy plover
northern spotted owl
peregrine falcon
Oregon silverspot butterfly
coast range fawn lily
Nelson's sidalcea
Coastal coho salmon
steelhead salmon

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Overviews and Highlights

Tillamook Bay is representative of many small Pacific Northwest estuaries. Dominated by rugged mountains with narrow coastal plains, it presents a challenging combination of environmental concerns. Heavy rainfalls wash sediment from the forested upper watershed and a variety of pollutants from the lowlands through the rivers and into the bay, affecting important fish runs and shellfish beds. Loss of habitat undermines fishing industries and threatens wildlife, further limiting uses of the estuary. The Program is finding ways to protect both the area's natural resources and its natural-resource-dependant economy.

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