Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Oregon Miilitary Department is planning to introduce wave energy technology in the waters off shore from Camp Rilea and that has crab fishermen concerned that the project will further limit harvest opportunties in the ocean area they say is prime grounds.  The Clatsop County Commission has scheduled a special work session for Thursday, April 18th at 1pm to hear more information from the military department and give stakeholders the opportunity to participate.

In January an amendment was made to the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan that defines four wave energy test sites along the coast with the 11-square-mile area off the Camp Rilea considered the most favorable by the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development.  The potential for wave energy would allow the base to have a reliable source of power in case of a regional disaster and would help them achieve a net-zero energy initiative at the base.

In an earlier work session representatives of the military department explained that this new wave energy technology is also being explored as a means of providing power to beach heads in the event of a military action anywhere in the world.  The system is designed to be deployed to supply ready power to troops as an alternative to traditional generators that require the military to carry large quantities of fuel when planning a beach head invasion.

During a three year review process government agencies, county commissioners, coastal mayors, fishery advisers and wave energy developers examined how wave energy might fit into the sea plan for the state.  The planning process includes public input meetings and several committees and government officials.  In the process the Governors Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) formulated plans and submitted those to the Territorial Sea Plan Committee.  Both then submitted plans to the Land Conservation and Development Commission but the OPAC plan stressed impacts on fishermen more that the other plan submitted.

OPAC had recommended that the study area be reduced to 4-square-miles and extend east one mile from shore.  DLCD held for a three mile boundary line and the eleven -square-mile area which LCDC approved.

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