Otter Rock

Category: General Article

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GPS Coordinates: 44.7324928, -124.0726777

Otter Rock is a small offshore island located between Devil’s Punchbowl State Park and Beverly Beach State Park, north of the town of Newport. It is part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, a protected area administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and used extensively by native birds for breeding and nesting purposes.

The rock is located 0.5 miles mile (0.8 km) offshore and was once a haul out area for sea otters prior to their extirpation in the early twentieth century. Today, it is still used by other marine mammals including California sea lions and harbor seals. It was nicknamed “the Waikiki of Oregon” during the last century due to its reputation for excellent surfing.

The island also lends its name to the Otter Rock Marine Reserve, one of five protected areas along the Oregon coast set aside for scientific research and conservation efforts.

Related information: Marine Reserves: Sanctuaries for Science | Broken Chain: Sea Otters and Kelp Forests

Photo credit: Gus Gates and Oregon Marine Reserves. Used with permission.