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News Release
Oregon Tide Gate Partnership Recognized with Land Board Award - 10/12/21

Oregon Tide Gate Partnership Recognized with Land Board Award

SALEM, Ore. – A collaborative endeavor to fix Oregon’s aging tide gates was honored today by the State Land Board during the 17th Annual Land Board Awards.

Governor Kate Brown, Treasurer Tobias Read, and Secretary of State Shemia Fagan recognized the Oregon Tide Gate Partnership for creative problem solving to repair and replace tide gates along the coast.

Tide gates keep farm fields, roads, and other areas dry and protected from flooding by letting freshwater out during low tides and preventing water from entering during high tides. Salmon and other migrating fish are able to swim through the tide gates when properly functioning. But improperly functioning tide gates can impact infrastructure, water quality, and wildlife.

“When tide gates work well, everyone benefits,” said Secretary Fagan, who presented today’s award. “This collaborative effort by many partners helps ensure Oregon’s tide gates will keep protecting communities and natural resources.”

Oregon has more than 1,000 tide gates, many of which need repair or replacement in order to function properly.

The Partnership has brought together a diverse group of interests dedicated to identifying barriers and solutions for updating tide gates. Partners include coastal counties, watershed boards, conservation groups, farming and ranching associations, Tribes, and federal and state agencies. The collaboration is coordinated by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.

“The Tide Gate Partnership exemplifies the ‘Oregon Way’” said Meta Loftsgaarden, former Executive Director of OWEB. “Individuals and groups with different perspectives are coming together, rolling up their sleeves and solving wicked problems in new and innovative ways.”

To date, the Partnership has developed an inventory of Oregon’s tide gates, established funding and engineering resources for landowners, and created planning tools to help communities plan and prioritize projects. Regulatory agencies are also working to coordinate the permitting process for tide gate repairs or replacements. 

“Now that those resources are built, it feels like we’re finally at the starting line,” said Jillian McCarthy, Tide Gate Coordinator with OWEB. “The next year will focus on testing the tools, making refinements, and working together to complete projects on-the-ground.” 

The Land Board Awards honor exceptional projects and partners for their contributions to protecting and enhancing Oregon’s treasured natural resources. Learn more about this year’s recipients on the Land Board Awards website or view the awards ceremony on the Department of State Lands YouTube Channel.

View images of the recipients of the 17th Land Board Awards.

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About the State Land Board

The State Land Board consists of Governor Kate Brown, Secretary of State Shemia Fagan and State Treasurer Tobias Read. Established by the Oregon Constitution in 1859, the Land Board oversees the state’s Common School Fund. 

About the Department of State Lands

The Department of State Lands is the Land Board’s administrative agency, managing the lands and resources that help fund Oregon’s public schools and protecting the state’s waterways and wetlands for the many benefits they provide. For more information on DSL, visit www.oregon.gov/DSL

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