The Yachats shoreline is part of a Marine Protected Area (MPA).
The Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve with its MPAs is the largest marine reserve network in Oregon. Visitors here have opportunities for scenic and wildlife viewing, hiking, guided outdoor learning, stewardship, and community science activities.
Although subject to change due to Covid-19, usually on summer weekends (through September), you will find a marine reserve volunteer posted on the 804 Trail at Smelt Sands State Park to answer questions about the marine reserve, sea birds, tide pools, and cultural history. A speakers’ series is also usually held in winter at the Cape Perpetua Visitors Center; however, due to Covid-19, this series was moved online in 2021.
The Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve and MPA region includes 18.8 square miles along the shore, 14.1 square miles of ocean habitat, and a reef complex that hosts diverse species of rockfish, including copper, vermillion, and quillback. It is adjacent to some of the most protected and outstanding old-growth coastal rainforest, which is home to the Central Coast Marbled Murrelet Important Bird Area, as well as 15 seabird nesting colonies, including the Pacific’s largest mainland breeding colony of Brandts cormorants at Heceta Head. (Heceta Head is 14 miles south of Yachats.)
Day Use State Parks in town are MPA points of access within Yachats.