South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve Logo

South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

Reserve Information



Lead Agency

Oregon Department of State Lands
(Visit Site)


4,771 acres


Five miles south of Charleston, Oregon, on the South Slough of the Coos Bay estuary

Additional Information

Habitats found within the reserve support salmon, great blue herons, bald eagles, migrating ducks, elk, sea otters, oysters, and crabs.

Biogeographic Region


Tidal Range

3.7 meters

About This Reserve

This reserve and its watershed protect both upland and lowland habitats. Its uplands are characterized by steep slopes that support conifer forests and stream systems that supply fresh water to the estuary. The lowlands contain freshwater wetlands and ponds; high and low salt marshes that have experienced varying degrees of disturbance and recovery; emergent islands, including Valino Island; sand and mud flats; and beds of eelgrass which cover a significant portion of the Coos estuary substrate.

The South Slough Reserve is one of 30 areas in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. This reserve is managed by the Oregon Department of State Lands and is protected for long-term research, water-quality monitoring, education, and coastal stewardship. The NOAA Office for Coastal Management provides funding, national guidance, and technical assistance.

Reserve Location and Boundaries