Back Oregon's
Sea Otters

Who Are We: The Elakha Alliance is a 501(c)3 non-profit in Oregon. We were formed by tribal, nonprofit, and conservation leaders with a shared belief in a powerful vision:  an Oregon coast 50 years from now where our children and grandchildren co-exist along with a thriving sea otter population and a robust and resilient marine ecosystem.

Our Mission:  To restore a healthy population of sea otters to the Oregon coast and to thereby make Oregon’s marine and coastal ecosystem more robust and resilient.

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Restoring a

Sea otters are part of the cultural legacy of Oregon’s coastal tribes which was lost when sea otters were eliminated in Oregon due to the 19th century fur trade. It’s long past time for a meaningful effort to undo this wrong. Discover the Cultural Significance of Oregon’s Sea Otters from Peter Hatch, Elakha Board Member and member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.

Encouraging a Resilient Marine Ecosystem

As a keystone species, sea otters are critical to maintaining the productivity and diversity of kelp forests. Without these marine mammals actively keeping the urchin population in check, kelp forests could turn into barren marine deserts, leading to a significant drop in biodiversity, harming the overall marine ecosystem.

The return of these magnificent aquatic creatures represents a massive stride not just for Oregon but the entire ecosystem. 

The Science of Sea Otters

Sea otters play a vital role in marine ecology, and their re-introduction will create a balanced and thriving coastal environment. Sea otters are often deemed “climate warriors” as they help in sequestering carbon by promoting healthy kelp forests. These forests absorb CO2 thereby reducing its concentration in our atmosphere.

To reintroduce sea otters back to Oregon takes a lot of research, planning, and in-depth analyses. Our 2022 Scientific Feasibility Study on returning sea otters to Oregon’s coast was concluded feasible by the top six leading sea otter scientists.

Latest Updates:

Learn More at the Elakha Library

We’re working to compile in one place a library of materials for students, interested individuals, and scientists who’re interested in learning more.