What is the Territorial Sea Plan?

The State of Oregon holds the waters, shoreline, and living resources of its shoreline in trust for the public. The state has therefore established in law a program of planning and management that includes ocean resource goals and policies. The Oregon Territorial Sea Plan (TSP) was first adopted in 1994 and provides detailed guidance to state and federal agencies to manage uses within the state’s territorial sea, from shore to three nautical miles offshore. State ocean resources are governed by a tapestry of authorities at multiple government scales, and the TSP acts as a coordinating framework from which individual agencies institute regulations and management activities. 

The Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) was given the ability to amend the TSP when necessary to deal with new concerns as they occur.  

Click the "read more" button below to view the Territorial Sea Plan in it's entirety.

Read more: What is the Territorial Sea Plan?

Plan History

In 1991 the Oregon Legislature amended ORS chapter 196 to establish the Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) made up of a variety of ocean stakeholders, local governments, and state agencies, and charged it with providing the Governor and state agencies with policy advice on ocean matters.  The legislation gave the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD), which includes the state’s federally-approved coastal management program, primary responsibility for ocean planning and providing assistance to OPAC.  One of OPAC’s basic duties was to prepare a Territorial Sea Plan (TSP) for managing the resources and activities in the state's territorial sea.  Click here to view the folder Oregon Territorial Sea Plan .

A Dynamic Plan for a Dynamic Environment

The TSP is not a static plan and as new ocean uses arise the plan has been amended to accommodate their presence.  This amendment process first occurred with the arrival of trans-ocean fiber optic cables on Oregon’s shores during the 1990’s.  Because these cables cut across the continental shelf and the territorial sea before connecting to the cable system onshore, they had the potential to conflict with other ocean uses, most importantly fishing.  Through the Oregon Ocean Policy Council, a process was conducted to develop recommendations for amending the TSP by adding a new chapter to address seafloor cables.  This effort resulted in Part Four: Uses of the Seafloor, which was adopted by the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) through an administrative rule in 2001.  At the same time, LCDC also amended Part Three: Rocky Shore Management Strategy, inserting a new section to deal with the protection and use of the Cape Arago complex of rocky shores.  That amendment also established the basis for future amendments of Part Three.

Read more: Plan History

TSP Rocky Shores Amendment


Managing Oregon’s Rocky Shores: A Shared Responsibility

In fall 2017, DLCD will gather decision makers across the state to begin an amendment to the Rocky Shores management chapter (Part III) of the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan (TSP). The plan acts as a coordinated vision for Oregon coastal resources and guides the actions of state and federal agencies that are responsible for managing coastal and ocean resources in the public trust. The amended rocky shores plan will incorporate the best available science and consider the needs, concerns, and values of Oregonians balanced with the state’s goals for a resilient coastal ecosystem that can provide enduring opportunities for its users.

View the " pdf Citizens Guide to the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan Rocky Shores Amendment (1.10 MB) " to learn more about the amendment process and how to get involved.


Read more: TSP Rocky Shores Amendment

TSP Plan Maps

View maps of the Territorial Sea, with layers that can be interactively switched on, including maps of: Part III Rocky Shores, Part IV Cables, and Part V Marine Renewable Energy Area Designations Map. 


Read more: TSP Plan Maps

Resource Inventory Maps

Informed decision making, the heart of Goal 19 and the Oregon Ocean Plan, depends upon adequate information about ocean resources and uses and the effects of any proposed action on those resources and uses. This page contains information about ocean and coastal resource inventories, as well as interactive maps of existing resource inventory information.

Read more: Resource Inventory Maps

Territorial Sea Plan Advisory Committee

As part of the amendment process for Part V of the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan (TSP), concerning marine renewable energy development, a Territorial Sea Plan Advisory Committee composed of representatives from the Territorial Sea Plan Working Group and affected industry representatives was formed to provide input and recommendations for the final TSP rulemaking by the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC).

Read more: Territorial Sea Plan Advisory Committee

Visual Resources Scenic Quality Class Map

Map showing the Scenic Quality Visual Resource Inventory Assessment Locations and their resulting Class Values. This is a Story Map generated to highlight the important scenic nature of Oregon's Territorial Sea.