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Some Washington Coast Beaches Open in May; Oregon Coast Making Plans

Published 04/28/2020 at 5:44 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Some Washington Coast Beaches Open in May; Oregon Coast Making Plans

(Portland, Oregon) – A mix of bad news and good news for lovers of Oregon and Washington beaches: many Washington coast beaches will start opening to day use on May 5 (though not all), but the Oregon coast is still in limbo.

Most Oregon coast counties have shuttered overnight stays at lodgings until May 31 or until further notice. Look for further information on Tuesday night at Oregon Coast Beach Connection on some possible developments.

In either case, staying overnight or camping at beach towns in either state is not allowed yet.

Oregon State Parks and Recreation (OPRD) is in the middle of working out specifics, but Washington State Parks announced Monday that the beaches it manages will open up on May 5.

To see a rundown of Washington beaches that are open, see this link. Rachel Blomker, with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said there will be different rules for beaches not under state parks’ umbrella.

“State-owned beaches will open for recreation, but not for shellfish harvesting,” she said. “For beaches that are owned by a city, county, federal government, or another entity, you’ll need to check with them on what’s open and what’s closed.”

Washington State Parks (WSP) said you still need to keep social distancing in mind, and Governor Jay Inslee said during a press conference Monday that these reopenings could be scaled back.

WSP reiterated the public should still avoid crowded areas and come back another time if your destination looks crowded.

On the Oregon coast, some more information may be available on Tuesday. There is a conference call between OPRD, Travel Oregon and coastal tourism officials that day. OPRD is starting to look at opening some parks around the state, although the coast will be trickier as some areas are not allowing any visitors. If any beaches open up in May, it will be day-use only at first.

When it comes to staying the night on the Oregon coast, that won’t be possible for awhile. Clatsop County (Seaside, Warrenton, Astoria and Cannon Beach) extended its lodging / camping to May 31 last week.

Tillamook County’s lodging ban is set to expire this week, but a county official told Oregon Coast Beach Connection she expects that to be extended.

Lincoln County had their lodging / camping ban set to expire on April 30 but was just extended to May 31 as of Monday. On the south coast, Curry County and others have instituted similar bans until further notice.

Seaside has banned all people from beaches within its city limits, and Cannon Beach and Manzanita have prohibited all non residents from wandering in. It is as yet unclear what opening beaches may look like in Oregon, such as what towns may prohibit visitors.

Futher updates are still coming. Keep checking the Oregon Coast News page for updates

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