What is the Friends of South Slough?

About Us

The Friends of South Slough (FOSS) is a non-profit service organization and partner of South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (South Slough Reserve). FOSS consists of unpaid members, governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors.  The Directors strive to ensure funds entrusted to FOSS support priority initiatives and programs at South Slough Reserve as well as the essential business needs of FOSS, such as bookkeeping, insurance, fees, and taxes. Memberships and donations are the primary funding sources for FOSS.

Since FOSS members often work closely with South Slough Staff, FOSS is often considered part of or the same as South Slough Reserve. However, they are separate organizations, with different roles, missions and oversight. Both organizations are committed to promoting research, stewardship, and education associated with estuaries.

The Friends of South Slough Roles

The Friends of South Slough Reserve, Inc. is a non-profit corporation founded in 1988 and composed of persons interested in protecting the functions, values and processes of estuaries, and enhancing the work of the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. The Friends raise funds, advocate for, and support the work of the South Slough Reserve. The Friends also operate a bookstore at the South Slough Reserve Visitor Center, administer grants, fund interns, and purchase supplies and materials for classes and day camps.

Mission – FOSS supports protection and stewardship of estuaries by being a trusted voice on estuary policy and by enhancing the work of the South Slough Reserve.

Oversight –The Friends are overseen by a 4-12 member Board of Directors, who guide the organization, in compliance Oregon law for nonprofit corporations (ORS 65). All members of the board are unpaid volunteers elected by the membership.

The South Slough Reserve Roles

The Reserve manages nearly 7,000 acres of natural areas along the Coos estuary on the south coast of Oregon. Designated in 1974, it is managed for the purposes of long-term research, education, and coastal stewardship. The reserve supports and coordinates research, education and stewardship programs that serve to enhance a scientific and public understanding of estuaries and contribute to improved estuarine management. Reserve staff are paid employees of the Department of State Lands.

Mission – To practice and promote stewardship of coasts and estuaries through innovative research, education, and training using a place-based system of protected areas.

Oversight – The Reserve’s immediate governing body is the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve Management Commission whose members are appointed by the Governor of Oregon. Daily oversight is provided by the Oregon Department of State Lands. NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management provides funding, national guidance, and technical assistance.