Nehalem Spit, Nehalem Bay

Nehalem Bay is an estuary at the mouth of the Nehalem River that drains a watershed of about 855 square miles (2,210 sq km) in the Oregon Coast Range northwest of Portland. The name is derived from the Nehalem people, a subgroup of the Tillamook people, who inhabited this area for millennia. The town of Nehalem began in the latter portion of the nineteenth century supported by logging, fishing, and shipping. The town and much of the area surrounding the bay is in the floodplain and a 1996 storm caused significant damage to local dairy farms. Nehalem Bay State Park is located on a sandspit separating the bay from the ocean near the community of Manzanita. A Spanish Manila galleon may have wrecked here in the late 1600s, carrying a large cargo of beeswax, lumps of which have been found on the coast for at least two centuries. Tillamook County transferred the land to the State of Oregon for a park in the 1930s. During the 1940s and 1950s, European beach grass, shore pine, and Scotch broom were planted to stabilize the dunes. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore the sandspit and Nehalem Bay.