Lighthouses of the Pacific Northwest
The coastal areas of Oregon embrace two distinct marine environments.
These include the vast offshore waters of the Pacific Ocean and
the estuaries of the coastal rivers. The coastal rivers of Oregon
include 217 square miles of estuaries. The Oregon Coast draws an
estimated 29 million visitors annually for sightseeing, beachcombing,
and ocean fishing. The state maintains more than 50 parks on the
coast for day use and camping, some of which are maintained adjacent
to Oregons lighthouses.
The geographical diversity of the Washington coast exemplifies
the Pacific Northwest region. Visitors can enjoy natural driftwood-strewn
beaches along the rugged coastline. Adjacent to these beaches, the
Washington coast is covered with old forests with moss and lichens
that absorb the heavy rainfall to create a temperate rainforest
effect. Starting in the north at Cape Flattery, the shoreline of
the coast is dotted with Indian reservations, small fishing villages,
lumber towns, the Olympic National Forest, and various smaller state
parks and wildlife preserves. The old growth forests that line the
coast provide a counterpoint to the cliffs that line the rocky shoreline.
Also, the teaming streams, rivers, and lakes that flow from these
mountains towards the ocean are a continuous reminder of the heavy
annual rainfall. Washingtons coastline is filled with an abundance
of oysters, crabs, and salmon. The Pacific ocean of the Washington
coast is busy with fisherman, while the rivers are the center of
the regions lumber industry. These small fishing and lumber
villages provide a peaceful natural retreat for visitors with their
unique combination of coastal and mountainous lifestyles.