The Ocean and the Climate Crisis

The Ocean and the Climate Crisis

The planet is in a climate emergency. A warming planet means sea levels will rise and ocean storms will increase in frequency and intensity. Our work educates coastal residents about the challenges we face as the climate changes and explores how coastal Oregon can prepare today for an uncertain future. Fortunately, much work has already occurred to understand how coastal communities might prepare for future climate change impacts.

However, there is still much to be done. Learn about CRA’s climate advocacy and organizing work to see what you can do to ensure Oregon is at the forefront of a Green New Deal and climate action.

Sea Level Rise

Annual median sea level along the U.S. coast (with land motion removed) has increased by about 9 inches since the early 20th century as oceans have warmed and land ice has melted (4th National Climate Assessment Ch. 2: Climate,). What does this mean for Oregon’s coastal communities and ecosystems, and what are the future sea level rise predictions.

These tools can help answer those questions:

NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer

Climate Impacts to Oregon's Coast

Higher sea level coupled with more frequent and intense storms threatens coastal communities. Erosion and flooding impact homeowners and coastal ecosystems. Hypoxia and ocean acidification have and could continue to severely impact Oregon’s fisheries.

Sea Level Rise Predictions

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has modeled four future carbon paths. The business-as-usual path, the path we are on now, forecasts potential sea level rise of nearly three feet by 2100. Such a rise in sea level would be catastrophic for many coastal communities.

Ocean Acidification

Oceans are also currently absorbing more than a quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere annually by human activities, increasing their acidity. Higher ocean acidity has already impacted Oyster seed production at Netarts Bay.

Oregon Coast Ocean News

Use the link below to subscribe to CRA’s digital monthly newsletter, Ocean News. You will receive monthly updates about relevant ocean science, marine conservation and climate news.

Signup for Ocean News

A monthly email digest of the most important Oregon focused climate & ocean stories. This newsletter also features local events and updates from Oregon’s Marine Reserve Program. Concise & relevant – don’t miss an issue.

Future generations depend on the action you take today


Consider making a generous donation today for advocacy, research and education from a perspective no other organization provides. Support the Coast Range Association’s Communities and the Living Ocean Program.