The Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT) is a local non-profit organization, focused on collaborative science and stewardship. It was created in large part because local fishermen felt disenfranchised from the existing top-down fishery management system, and they recognized that bottom-up organizing would better position the community to determine their destiny.

Initiative Background

POORT evolved organically from community-based fisheries management to a broader ecosystem-based management (EBM) approach when the group became involved in state-level discussions of marine reserve siting.  Realizing the need to prepare their small coastal community for the potential of marine reserves, the group took proactive steps towards effectively managing the nearshore fishing grounds they relied on for their livelihoods.  For the state marine reserve process, POORT board members focused their input on the context of these fishing grounds and adjacent watersheds and developed a community-focused approach that incorporated EBM principles.

EBM Approach

Based on the goal of providing a voice for their community using sound EBM principles, POORT developed a plan for a Community Stewardship Area that incorporates the traditional fishing grounds of the Port Orford fleet and upland watersheds, and allowing local fishermen to provide input. The group also developed a science and access plan that mirrors EBM principles and goals as well, and includes the additional research needed to create an ecosystem-based fisheries management plan focused on long-term sustainability and access to the resource.

location  Port Orford, Oregon


Project lead  Leesa Cobb


Photo courtesy of POORT


Photo courtesy of POORT

Photo courtesy of POORT

Formed: 1999

Geographic Focus: Port Orford, OR (Nearshore fishing grounds & surrounding watershed)

Project Office: Port Orford, OR (270mi southwest of Portland, OR)


  1. -Fishermen’s Board (5 commercial fishermen)

  2. -Community Advisory Board

  3. -Executive Director & Staff

  4. -Internship Program


  1. -Community Stewardship Area Ocean Science Plan

  2. -Community-based Fishery Management System

  3. -Research Projects:

  4. -Port fishery sampling

  5. -Multibeam & dive surveys of the seafloor

  6. -Terrestrial Stewardship Plan (in development)

  7. -Sustainable Seafood initiative

  8. -Outreach:

  9. -Public Workshops

  10. -Educational Forums

  11. -Annual Water Festival

  12. -Meetings and focus groups with fishermen

Project Details

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