Manzanita, OR. Marine biologists and volunteers surveyed the five Oregon Marine Reserves over the last two months to take a snapshot of their exceptional diversity. The nonprofit Oregon Coast Aquarium is responsible for managing and monitoring Oregon’s reserves and it organized seven “Bioblitz” events to catalog marine species. One was held at the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve in Neakahnie-Manzanita Sate Park on July 6th. A BioBlitz is an intensive survey of a defined area on a single day with the goal of identifying all the species to be found in that area.

Oregon Coast Aquarium scientists were on hand for the BioBlitz. The Oregon Marine Reserves are areas in our coastal waters that are dedicated to conservation and scientific research. All ocean development and removal of species is prohibited.

Oregon created the marine reserves to conserve marine habitats and biodiversity while serving as living laboratories to learn about Oregon’s near shore ecosystems and the potential effects that protections can have over time. 

The five marine reserves in Oregon are: Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, Otter Rock, Cape Perpetua, and Redfish Rocks. Here’s a graphic of the Oregon Marine Reserves:

A low tide helped volunteers taking an inventory of the sea life at Cape Falcon Marine Reserve in Neakahnie-Manzanita Sate Park

As the tide recedes, a unique and diverse environment is revealed in ­tidepools and intertidal areas. Bright sea stars in a ­variety of colors cling tightly to rocks. Green ­anemones lay open like ­flowers at the bottom of pools. A trained eye will find varieties of crabs, snails, ­limpets, coral, sponge and colorful sea slugs known as nudibranchs.

Here’s a video about the Oregon Marine Reserves diving program:

From Oregon Coast Aquarium:

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Newport, on the beautiful Oregon Coast. Our mission is to create unique and engaging experiences that connect you to the Oregon coast and inspire ocean conservation.


We invite you to immerse yourself in the mysteries of the ocean.  The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a captivating destination and a trusted resource for ocean education and conservation in the Pacific Northwest.


The Aquarium is a living classroom for all learning styles and ages. As one of Oregon’s top tourist attractions, the Aquarium is a vital educational resource for the state, with over 40,000 students visiting the Aquarium each year. The Aquarium strives to be a center of excellence for ocean literacy and plays an active role in conservation and animal rehabilitation efforts.