In Oregon’s Coos Bay, the natural environment is a source of pride and significant economic activity. But as a result of competing interests, the area’s natural resources can also be a source of conflict. This divisiveness often makes it difficult for to objectively assess the long-term effects of economic activity on social, economic, and environmental conditions. In response, the South Slough Reserve worked with the Coos Watershed Association on a 2012 Collaborative Research project that established the Partnership for Coastal Watersheds—a group of local stakeholders that represents diverse interests. The Partnership develops objective informational tools that serve as a foundation for community and economic development initiatives.
The Communities, Lands & Waterways Data Source (Data Source) is one such tool developed by the partnership. An encyclopedic compilation of all available data describing the socioeconomic and environmental conditions in the Coos Bay area, the Data Source is an expansion on the 2012 State of the South Slough and Coastal Frontal Watersheds assessment. The Data Source provides users with in-depth status and trends information about the project area’s attributes, and includes evaluations of those attributes, and highlights significant data gaps.