Oregon State University

About Our Ports

"Way back when...", trees near large rivers were harvested and floated down to the ports, and transport of timber by water was routine.   As harvesting moved further from the river, roads and railroads came into favor for moving the heavy logs.  In turn, most ports suffered a decline in this type of cargo.  And as 18-wheelers became common, ports also faced a loss in long-distance cargo handling - it became cheaper to ship by truck.

Losing the timber business over time, Oregon's ports - still home for commercial and recreational fishing - had to evolve.  Many embraced tourism and, today, the coastal ports of Oregon are a draw for visitors from all over the world, as they offer just-off-the-boat seafood (expertly prepared), fresh seafood markets, charter fishing trips, and ecology-based cruises (including whale- and bird-watching cruises).  Their locations, on the Oregon coast, contribute to that appeal, while also providing additional tourist and recreational activities such as surfing, para-sailing, hiking, and fly fishing. 

As these newer uses merged with commercial fishing activities and off-the-dock crabbing, a refreshing mix of "working waterfront" and upscale amenties emerged.  Astoria now hosts the annual Fisher Poets Gathering, an event celebrating the fishing industry, its lifestyle and its people.  Tillamook hosts the annual Birding and Blues Festival, drawing an eco-tourist crowd. Newport, home of the Oregon Coast Aquarium and Hatfield Marine Science Centers, hosts an annual Seafood and Wine Festival.  Each of Oregon's ports has its own appeal, for fishermen, for tourists and, of course, the "locals".  For more information, please check out the links below.

Port Images

Coastal Port Districts in Oregon, as listed in the Oregon Blue Book, are:

North Coast:

Astoria, with deep draft facilities, is a port of call for several cruise ships, as well as offering a full range of marine supplies and services

Nehalem (no web site)

Garibaldi, home to the lumber industry and commercial and sport fishing, now invested in tourism

Tillamook Bay, which has more than 1600 acres of industrial zoned land, is also home of the Tillamook Air Museum, Fairgrounds, Cheese Factory, Forest Center, and the Pioneer Museum.

Central Coast:

Newport, on the central coast, billing itself as "an authenic working waterfront"

Toledo, on the Yaquina River east of Newport, is home of the Wooden Boat Show

Alsea, "Gateway to the Scenic Alsea Bay and River"

Siuslaw, in Florence, supporting fishing and an active community dockside

South Coast:

Umpqua. on the Umpqua River, with water-access industrial properties, and a growing tourism industry

Coos Bay, Oregon's largest coastal deep-draft harbor, supporting cargo shipments with the Coos Bay Rail Link

Bandon, with a focus on recreational, commercial and environmental projects, including world-class golf

Port Orford, billing itself as "The most unique fishing dock in Oregon!", with the only "dolly dock" on the West Coast

  Port Orford is also home to POORT, the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team

Gold Beach, a small port specializing in river and ocean fishing, and jet boat rides on the Rogue River

Brookings-Harbor, Oregon's southernmost port, catering to sport and commercial fishermen, sailors and other pleasure boaters


There are several websites that provide information on these ports.  The Oregon Public Ports Association provides general information, including a list of State Legislators, port news, and job openings.  the Oregon Coast Zone Management Association provides a information about the ports role in economic development.

Contact Info

Copyright ©  2018 Oregon State University


2030 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, OR  97365
Tel:  541 867-0230
(at the Hatfield 
Marine Science Center)


2001 Marine Drive, Room 253
Astoria, OR  97103
503 325-4531
(at the Seafood Research 
& Education Center)