Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Otter Awareness Week Celebrates Hope for Its Return, Events in Portland, Oregon Coast

Published 09/13/23 at 6:47 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Otter Awareness Week Celebrates Hope for Its Return, Events in Portland, Oregon Coast

(Oregon Coast) – It's the kind of event you really “otter” know about.

Sea Otter Awareness Week (SOAW) is coming up, with the non-profit group Elakha Alliance touting its efforts to restore sea otters to the Oregon coast, happening from September 24 – 30. The group joins with similar organizations in California to hopefully inspire people on the West Coast and get them to appreciate these unique marine mammals. They essentially disappeared from the region about 100 years ago and have yet to regain a population foothold.

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; some specials in summer
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
Some specials for summer
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Some specials for summer
In Lincoln City:
Some specials for summer
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
Some specials for summer
In Newport:
Look for some specials
In Waldport
Some specials for summer
In Yachats, Florence
Some specials for summer
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; summer deals

A variety of events are held around the state with visits from experts from Elakha. Look for SOAW at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, Oregon Coast Aquarium and the BLM's Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area – both in Newport.

The group says the sea otter is quite important to the ecology of the near-shore environments of both states, and it faces some intense challenges to get back here.

The theme for this year's Sea Otter Awareness Week is “Restoring Missing Links,” which means the little creatures are still absent from their historical habitat range, and the efforts of conservation groups are not just needed but hopefully celebrated as well.

Oregon Sea Otter Awareness Week activities (see for details);

- Monday Sept 25th, 6:30pm: Webinar: Elakha’s Next Steps & What Makes Sea Otters So Unique

- Tuesday Sept 26th, 12pm-2pm: Float Down the Coast Livestream & Educational Table at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area (Newport)

- Wednesday Sept 27th, 10am-2pm: Sea Otter Viewing Station at Oregon Coast Aquarium (Newport)

- Friday Sept 29th, 10am-2pm: Sea Otter Viewing Station at Oregon Zoo (Portland)

- Saturday Sept 30th, 10am-2pm: Sea Otter Viewing Station at Oregon Zoo (Portland)

Sea otters were once plentiful along the Oregon coast, but then were nearly hunted to extinction by fur traders in the early 1900s.

“A few surviving animals in California and Alaska enabled the population of sea otters to rebound in many places,” the group said. “However, they remain absent in their former habitats on the Oregon and northern California coasts, a stretch of nearly 800 miles.”

Elakha and other groups from California such as Sea Otter Savvy, Defenders of Wildlife, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and California State Parks are still at the forefront of the restoration work. They say the return of the sea otter would have numerous benefits for the ecology of the coastlines as well as the tourism economy, especially on the south coast. A 2022 study found that the reintroduction of the cute little species would have a substantial impact of more travelers to the regions.

There were other studies as well.

“In 2022 the US Fish and Wildlife Service released a study of the feasibility and impacts of returning sea otters to the region,” Elakha said. “The study found that there would be many ecological and economic benefits from returning sea otters due to their importance in protecting kelp forests which are critical habitat for many marine species, including fish caught in commercial and recreational harvest.”

To view the full SOAW schedule, visit

Oregon Coast Hotels for this event - South Coast Hotels - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours


Photos below courtesy Oregon Coast Aquarium

More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

Coastal Spotlight

Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Constant Killer Views at One Cannon Beach Legend: Oregon Coast Travel Tips
There's also deep history at this popular, luxury hotel. Cannon Beach hotel reviews, Cannon Beach lodging, Tolovana Inn
Pink Floyd on Oregon Coast? Pigs on the Wing Brings Visual, Sonic Punch to As...
At Astoria's Liberty Theatre this Saturday, September 30
UPDATE: Coast Guard Ends Search for Woman Swept Away at Rialto Beach, Washing...
Witnesses said she was sucked into the surf by heavy waves
Chonky, Orange Moon, Planets and Meteor Showers Coming: Washington / Oregon C...
Larger-than-usual full moon and some meteors coming later. Sciences
U.S. Travel Tips: Rugged, Remote to Chic at Tierra Del Mar on Oregon's North ...
From elegant to surfing, hiking, hang gliding. Pacific City hotels, Tillamook, Oceanside
Cannon Beach Hotels, Lodging, Motels - N. Oregon Coast
Updated weekly: hotels in Cannon Beach, Arch Cape, lodging, motels, inns, lodging deals
Oregon / Washington Coast Alerts: Flood Watch, First Big Waves of Season
Floods, lots of rain, high winds and some rather good storm watching, beach safety
Sea Lions Sick with Leptospirosis on Oregon Coast: Keep Pets, Yourselves Away
Stay clear of sick or dead sea lions. Marine sciences, beach safety

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on Oregon Coast Beach Connection
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright Oregon Coast Beach Connection. Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted