The following is press release issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will host 16 public open houses with communities in Northern California and Oregon this June to gather input on the potential reintroduction of sea otters to their historical range. The open houses will provide communities and stakeholders an opportunity to ask questions, share perspectives and speak with Service staff about sea otters and next steps in recovery efforts including the potential reintroduction process – should a proposal move forward.
The southern sea otter, one of three subspecies of sea otter, is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. As directed by Congress, the Service assessed reintroduction feasibility in 2022. The assessment concluded that reintroduction was biologically feasible and may have significant benefits for a variety of species in the marine ecosystem and expedite the recovery of the threatened southern sea otter.
The assessment also concluded that additional information about how reintroduction would affect stakeholders and local communities was needed before considering the next steps. There is no active proposal to reintroduce sea otters at this time.
The open houses will help the Service gather further information to inform next steps. As the Service considers the possibility of reintroduction, we recognize that community values and issues are critical in this process. Input from the public and key stakeholders, including ocean users, will be a foundational component in establishing next steps including whether or not a potential reintroduction is proposed, as well as ensuring that proposals are crafted in a way that benefits stakeholders and local communities.
The Service aims to be inclusive, thoughtful, and scientifically sound as we consider actions to support sea otters, local communities and ecosystem recovery, now and in the future.
Open houses will be held in the following communities in Oregon and Northern California:
Astoria – June 20, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM Astoria Elks Lodge #180 453 11th St., Astoria, OR 97103
Garibaldi – June 21, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM Old Mill RV Resort 210 South 3rd St. Garibaldi, OR 97118
Newport – June 21, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM Newport Recreation Center, Multipurpose Room 225 SE Avery St., Newport, OR 97365
Florence – June 22, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM, Lane Community College, Florence Center, Room 103 3149 Oak St., Florence, OR 97439
Coos Bay – June 22 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM, Southern Oregon Community College, Empire Hall, Lakeview Rooms E, F, & G 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay, OR 97420
Port Orford – June 23, 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM, Port Orford Library, Large Conference Room 1421 Oregon St., Port Orford, OR 97465
Gold Beach – June 23, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Curry County Library, Meeting Hall 94341 3rd St., Gold Beach, OR 97444
Brookings – June 24, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM, Coastal Community Center (located inside Coastal Home, Health, and Hospice) 585 5th St., Brookings, OR 97415
Crescent City – June 24, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM, Del Norte Recreation Department, Gymnasium 1005 H St., Crescent City, CA 95531
Arcata – June 25, 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM, Cal Poly Humboldt, College Creek Complex, Great Hall Community Center Building, Room 260, 1 Rossow St., Arcata, CA 95521
Fort Bragg – June 26, 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM, Noyo Center for Marine Science, Discovery Center 338 N Main St., Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Bodega Bay – June 27, 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM, Bodega Bay Community Center 2255 CA-1, Bodega Bay, CA, 94923
Point Reyes Station – June 27, 5:00 PM– 7:30 PM, Point Reyes National Seashore, Bear Valley Visitor Center, Red Barn Classroom 75 Bear Valley Rd., Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
Sausalito – June 28, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM, Bay Model Visitor Center, Gallery 2100 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965
San Francisco – June 28, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM, San Francisco County Fair Building, Auditorium 1199 9th Ave., San Francisco, CA 94122
Emeryville – June 29, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Emeryville Senior Center, Main Hall 4321 Salem St., Emeryville, CA 94608
The Service encourages interested stakeholders and publics to drop in any time during the open houses. Full details and open house information are also available online at www.fws.gov/project/exploring-potential-sea-otter-reintroduction.