Our Oregon Coastal Shorelands protect our water quality, and fish and wildlife habitat. The have value for our state that is economic, recreational, and aesthetic. Because they have such a strong nexus with the coastal waters beyond, and the estuarine resources in and among the coastal shorelands, Goal 17 seeks to conserve and protect them, while directing development to the places that are most appropriate and present the lowest risk to human life or property.

Statewide Planning Goal 17 outlines planning and management requirements for the lands bordering estuaries (as well lands bordering the ocean shore and coastal lakes). In general, the requirements of Goal 17 apply in combination with other planning goals to direct the appropriate use of shoreland areas. Provisions in Goal 17 specifically focus on the protection and management of resources unique to shoreland areas; examples of such resources include areas of significant shoreland habitat, lands especially suited for water dependent uses, lands providing public access to coastal waters, and potential restoration or mitigation sites.

The goal focuses on the management of shoreland areas and resources in a manner that is compatible with the characteristics of the adjacent coastal waters. Goal 17 requirements are implemented primarily through local comprehensive plans and zoning.

Water Dependent Shorelands Rule

Goal 17 use requirements direct that shorelands "especially suited for water dependent uses" be protected for such uses, and that local zoning regulations prevent the establishment of uses which would preempt the availability of such lands for water dependent development. In 1999 LCDC adopted an administrative rule to provide additional guidance for implementing this Goal 17 requirement. Known as the water dependent shorelands rule, OAR 660, Division 37 establishes a methodology for calculating the minimum amount of shorelands to be protected for water dependent and also provides more detailed guidance on the qualifications of shorelands suitable for water dependent uses, as well as suggested land use regulations and standards appropriate for the protection of these shoreland sites.