Beach Bill Celebration 2017
The Oregon Beach Bill, which preserved the state’s entire shoreline for the public, was signed by Gov. Tom McCall on July 6, 1967. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this milestone legislation, the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition and local partner Haystack Rock Awareness Program are sponsoring a special beachwalk, along with speakers and a party, on Thursday, July 6. Everyone is invited to this free event.
The celebration begins as participants gather starting at 1:30 p.m. at the Cannon Beach Community Hall (207 N. Spruce St.). After refreshments and a few brief remarks from Oregon Shores Executive Director Phillip Johnson, Cannon Beach resident and conservationist Ed Johnson, and others, the crowd will head for the beach at approximately 2:15 p.m.
The beachwalk will loop from the shoreline just south of Ecola Creek, south to Haystack Rock, and back to the Community Hall. The route passes the Surfsand Resort, where the campaign for the Beach Bill in 1967 began when the owner (not the present management) staked out part of the beach for the exclusive use of his guests. The walk will be accompanied by several guides who will provide expert commentary, including coastal ecologist Stewart Schultz, who will discuss shoreline natural history, coastal geologist Tom Horning, and Bonnie Henderson, author of Day Hiking: Oregon Coast.
Upon returning to the Community Hall (by about 4 p.m.), celebrants will hear talks by Bob Bailey, an Oregon Shores board member and former head of the state’s Coastal Management Program, on the history of the Beach Bill and coastal conservation in Oregon; and author Bonnie Henderson (whose other books include Strand: An Odyssey of Pacific Ocean Debris, and The Next Tsunami) on the shoreline as aboriginal trail and highway, leading into the history of the Oregon Coast Trail and its present status.
Refreshments will again be served, including beer donated by Public Coast Brewing Co. (Bringing things happily full circle, Public Coast is owned by Martin Hospitality, also the current owners of the Surfsand.) The party will continue until 6 p.m.
“We’re celebrating a key milestone in Oregon’s conservation history,” said Oregon Shores’ Phillip Johnson. “The Beach Bill’s 50th is a major event for everyone who cares about the Oregon coast. It’s important to know the history, and realize that only hard work by many
dedicated citizens made it possible to pass the Beach Bill and preserve our public shoreline. We hope the result will be a renewed enthusiasm for the kind of citizen engagement we’ll need to protect our shoreline resources for the next 50 years.”
The previous evening, Wednesday, July 5, Oregon Shores and HRAP are warming up for the celebration with a public talk on beach ecology. The speaker will be ecologist Stewart Schultz, author of The Northwest Coast: A Natural History. Schultz will speak at 7 p.m. at the Cannon Beach Community Hall.
A leading expert on the natural history of Pacific Northwest shorelines, Schultz will describe the ecosystems found upon and beneath the sand of the beach, a world less well-known than that of tidepools and rocky shores but equally fascinating. The event is free and open to all.