About the Region
OCWCOG’s member agencies are located in the Willamette Valley and the Central Oregon Coast. The rugged Oregon seacoast, the high mountain passes of the Oregon Cascades, lush greenery, and the agricultural abundance of the Valley are an attractive addition to an education, employment, and cultural hub.
The Willamette Valley is positioned at the foot of the Oregon Coast Range and comprises some of the most fertile and lush farmland in the Northwest. Stretching from just below the Oregon-Washington border to the city of Eugene, the Willamette Valley has long been considered the heartland of Oregon. OCWCOG serves two counties in the Valley, Benton and Linn, which contain the regions two biggest cities, Corvallis and Albany, Oregon State University, 18 smaller and diverse jurisdictions, including Lebanon and Philomath, and a multitude of housing, school, dining, and shopping options.
OCWCOG is located in the southern tip of the Valley and a one hour drive to Portland and 40 minutes to Eugene – the region’s major airports and gateways; and, a twenty minute drive to Salem, Oregon’s State Capitol, where many of OCWCOG funding agencies and partners are found. The Southern Willamette Valley is best known for its agriculture and its innovation, which include a flourishing wine industry, innovation accelerators, a growing start-up culture, high-tech industry and access to tens of thousands of students, professionals, and entrepreneurs affiliated with Oregon State University, Samaritan Health Systems, Linn-Benton Community College, Hewlett-Packard, the U.S. Department of Energy, and hundreds of other businesses, non-profits, agencies, and community partners. The Valley is divided into two distinct wine appellations, both known for their rich and robust Pinot Noir and exceptional Pinot Gris. Hazelnuts, raspberries, blackberries, and Christmas trees are major exports of the Willamette Valley.
The Oregon Coast is proof of the Northwest’s amazing diversity and its 350-mile coastline is anything but mundane. The Cities of Newport and Toledo anchor OCWCOG’s presence in Lincoln County and provide access to multiple working ports, harbors, and bays, and a historic logging and fishing culture. Oceanic and atmospheric research are conducted by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency and Oregon State University among others – spinning off innovation and industry in fisheries, energy, resource management, and tourism.
The quaint communities in Lincoln County offer an amazing variety of restaurants, shops, museums, galleries, and a world-class aquarium. There is also an abundance of recreational activities to choose from, such as deep-sea fishing, whale watching, hiking and camping, kite flying, golfing, clam digging, and crabbing.