WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY


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“No name” rocks now “Schooner Rocks” north of Yaquina Head

Schooner Rocks
Click on photos to enlarge
Bob Berman photo of rocks
Aerial photo of Yaquina Head courtesy Roy W. Lowe/USFWS

No Name Rocks Now Have a Name

A group of rocks due north of Yaquina Head, that are frequently misidentified as a near-beached whale, now have a name.

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names/Domestic Names Committee has approved a request from Newport resident Bob Berman to assign the name “Schooner Rocks” to a previously unnamed rock cluster located about 1 mile north of Yaquina Head. The three rocks, visible at all but the highest tides or sea conditions, lie about ½ mile WNW of Schooner Point and the mouth of Schooner Creek (the lesser-known of Lincoln County’s two Schooner Creeks).

Although the rocks are within the boundaries of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, they are not included in the refuge because they do not lie above the mean high water level, according to refuge Project Leader Roy Lowe.

Berman’s original plan was to name the feature Whale Rocks because Carl and Sandy Greenbaum, 2010 docents at Yaquina Head Natural Area, told him that they often had a tough time dissuading visitors from their conviction that the rocks were a live whale. Eventually the couple just responded “Hmmmmm” when yet another tourist excitedly pointed out the perpetually breaching whale.

The name Schooner Rocks was selected because of the cluster’s proximity to Schooner Point and Schooner Creek. The name request was submitted to the Oregon Geographic Names Board in July 2011 and was approved by them in November 2011, when it was recently forwarded to the US board for final approval and inclusion in the USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS).

For more information, contact Bob Berman at birderbob@earthlink.net

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