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Whale Cove Becomes Protected Wildlife Refuge

Oregon Department of Transportation

Whale Cove on the central coast is now a protected part of the Oregon Island National Wildlife Refuge. A deal between the property owners and government and non-profit organizations was reached to safeguard marine life and its ecology.

Before Whale Cove was protected, several proposals were made to develop the land. Bryce and Beebe Buchanan purchased the property hoping to conserve it. They sold it for nearly half its value so federal funding and grants could be used for the deal.

Dawn Harris with the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge complex says the protection of Whale Cove is significant.

Harris: “It’s really important especially for the sea birds because these birds these birds nest on land on the ground and are very vulnerable to disturbance. And that could be from predators like raccoons or coyotes.”

The 14 acre property is home to sea birds, harbor seals and enjoys occasional visits from Orcas and Gray Whales. A few bald eagles nest and are seen regularly. People traveling along 101 can stop at Rocky Creek State viewpoint to see Whale Cove.