- This paper evaluates Oregon Statewide Planning Goal 5: Natural Resources and Goal 17
Coastal Shorelands, planning programs and makes recommendations for improvement to the
Oregon members of the Columbia River Estuary Study Task Force (CREST). CREST is a
Council of Governments formed in 1974 which includes the local counties, cities and port districts
surrounding the Columbia River Estuary in both Oregon and Washington. The focus of this paper
is the management of riparian areas, lands within 250 horizontal feet of streams, rivers, and
estuaries. The impetus for this project is recent Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) listings of
Pacific salmon species. These ESA listings have prompted all local governments in areas of know
use by listed species, such as Oregon CREST member governments, to reevaluate planning
programs, including riparian area land use planning and management. The process used to reach
the nparian recommendations included several tasks. First, riparian area and watershed land use
planning principles and practices were reviewed. Second, one CREST member, the City of
Seaside, was used as a demonstration area to perform a detailed geographic information systems
(GIS) characterization of the watershed and study area riparian setting. Finally, the results of the
City of Seaside study were used to make recommendations to the city and other Oregon CREST
A review of the principles and practices of riparian area management produced two
products. First, a summary of the literature on sizing riparian management zones illustrated that
no one size is recommended and the size required varies with the attributes of the riparian area
landscape and the management goal. Second, a review of the planning processes applied to
riparian area management produced a strategy for developing the riparian area management plan.
This strategy integrated the natural setting of the study area, selection of a riparian area
management goal, a detailed study of the riparian zone, and objectives and constraints of
landowners into the planning process.
A geographic information system (GIS) was utilized to develop these recommendations.
GIS has been used extensively in land use planning, including riparian area management. GIS
riparian buffer delineation models have been developed to make determinations on buffer width
for varying management goals including water detention and stream shading. The GIS nparian
buffer delineation model for water detention was selected as most appropriate for the study area
and used as a tool in making the riparian area recommendations.
Several recommendations were produced through the nparian area management planning
process. First, the City of Seaside riparian area the topography, soils and vegetation when applied
to riparian buffer width literature suggest a buffer of 75 to 100 feet is necessary. Second, it is
recommended the impact of a 75 to 100 feet buffer on land development potential be mitigated
through environmental site planning and land use planning techniques. Finally, the geographic
setting of City of Seaside is generally similar to that of other Oregon CREST members.
Therefore, recommendations made to the City of Seaside will likely be applicable to other Oregon
These recommendations have the potential to substantially benefit the quality of the City of
Seaside's surface waters. These recommendation, however, are only one part of stream
protection. Separate actions must be taken throughout the watershed, such as reducing impervious
surface and the amount of pollutants introduced into the system through point source discharges in
order to ensure proper water quality.