Feasibility Assessment of Sea Otter Reintroduction to the Pacific Coast

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Feasibility Assessment of Sea Otter Reintroduction to the Pacific Coast

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was directed by Congress to look at the feasibility and cost of reintroducing sea otters on the Pacific Coast, including Oregon, Washington, and California. This directive stemmed from language that was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2021, Sea otters have been absent from most of the Pacific Coast for more than 100 years, since their near extinction as a result of the maritime fur trade. 

This Feasibility Assessment of Sea Otter Reintroduction to the Pacific Coast (Assessment) constitutes our report to Congress.

Type of document
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office is part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Ecological Services program. We work closely with partners to conserve fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats throughout Oregon for future generations.
The Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office is a field office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Our work in northern California includes scientific assessments, habitat restoration, and conservation of listed species.
The Ecological Services Program works to restore and protect healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and plants and the environments upon which they depend. Using the best available science, we work with federal, state, Tribal, local, and non-profit stakeholders, as well as private land owners, to...
We provide national leadership in the recovery and conservation of our nation's imperiled plant and animal species, working with experts in the scientific community to identify species on the verge of extinction and to build the road to recovery to bring them back. We work with a range of public...

Southern sea otters, also known as California sea otters, can be found in nearshore areas along the central California coastline, including areas of high human activity, like harbors. As a keystone species, they play a fundamental role in the natural food web, and keep important elements of...

FWS Focus

Sea otters are a member of the weasel family (Mustelidae) and live in the near-shore waters along the North Pacific Ocean. They are the smallest of marine mammals and are excellently suited to their marine environment with adaptations in their skeletons, teeth, and fur.


FWS Focus