Two sets of forces sparked Oregon's initial ocean resource planning efforts in the 1980's, and continue to be the drivers today.
- First, the Oregon coast and Pacific Ocean are important to Oregonians. Commercial and recreational fisheries, transportation and navigation, clean air and water and recreation are all ocean uses upon which coastal communities rely for their livelihoods and way of life. Oregonians care deeply that the coastal environment be protected and traditional use of renewable resources be maintained. Oregon's state agencies and local governments have control over many of the uses and resources along the coast and within the state's three mile territorial sea.
- Second, national and international forces outside Oregon inject new demands for ocean and coastal resources into the present mix. Global political and economic forces, beyond the control of the state affect the price and supply of energy and natural resources and can generate interest in exploring Oregon's ocean for exploitation and use.
Overarching both these sets of forces is a growing public concern about the health of the marine environment. With global climate change on the horizon there are increasing demands for national and coastal state governments to step up efforts to protect human health, conserve ocean resouces and preserve environmental quality.