Oregon's Ocean Panel Advisory Council endorsed three new fishing-free marine reserves, after scaling back the controversial Cape Falcon Reserve.
The proposed reserves now move to the governor and Legislature to be considered for protection next year.
If approved, the three reserves in Oregon's territorial sea would add to the state's first two: Redfish Rocks near Port Orford and Otter Rocks near Depoe Bay, both scheduled to take effect in June.
All told, the five reserves and less-restrictive "marine protected areas" would take up just under 10 percent of Oregon's territorial sea, a roughly three-mile-wide strip along the 360-mile coast.
Marine reserves, already running in Washington and California, are designed to provide a refuge for fish, increase fish populations, boost ocean research and allow scientists to gauge the effect of fishing on fish stocks.
Read more at OregonLive.com.