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Connecting with Kind Travelers in Manzanita

Janice Zagata, a longtime supporter of North Coast Land Conservancy, has a deep love for the ocean shores and the forests of the northern Oregon Coast. Her establishment, the Ocean Inn at Manzanita, gives coastal visitors easy access to both.

Now, she’s taking on a new initiative to connect guests to the area and provide them with an easy, convenient opportunity to give back to its protection and stewardship by becoming the first business owner to join the Kind Traveler program on NCLC’s behalf.

Janice Zagata, the owner of the Ocean Inn at Manzanita, is passionate about promoting sustainable travel.

Making Travel More Sustainable

The Oregon Coast Visitors Association—which is championing sustainable travel—sums up how the Kind Traveler program works: Participating lodging partners choose an OCVA-vetted environmental nonprofit to designate as a charity beneficiary. A portion of every guest stay will fund the designated nonprofit, with 100 percent of the funds donated to the nonprofit beneficiary. Simple as that!

The fee is a couple of dollars added to the guest’s bill at the end of their stay, and they are welcome to opt out if they want.

Janice is going about the program a little differently. Instead of charging guests $2 individually, she’s asking for $1 from them and then matching it with a $1 contribution from the Ocean Inn. She is still in the process of implementing the program at her establishment, but using data from last year’s reservations, she estimates that method will amount to about $1,500 annually for NCLC.

“I just really want to support the environment and the area in that way,” she says.

‘We Try in Our Own Little Ways’

Janice moved to the Oregon Coast and started helping run the Ocean Inn in the late 1990s. Since taking over the family business completely with her husband about two decades ago, she’s been intentional about integrating eco-conscious initiatives to help mitigate the negative impacts of travel.

For example, she started a program where guests can fill up a small cloth recycling bag or bucket—provided by the inn—with microplastics on the beach. If they return it full, they receive $20 off their next reservation. For each bag returned full, Janice then donates $1 to the Surfrider Foundation. Additionally, they are adamant about recycling at the inn, and all their amenities are in plant-based, compostable bottles.

“We try in our own little ways,” Janice says.

Her devotion to sustainability and coastal conservation comes from a variety of sources. She was a runner and bicyclist in the past and still regularly walks and hikes. She raised two children on the coast, reinforcing its importance as their family’s home, and as a result one of her daughters studied marine biology in college and is pursuing the field. They live on Neahkahnie Mountain, and, in general, she love being outdoors.

“It’s relaxing for me,” she says, adding she is deeply curious about and fascinated by the cycles, changes, and seasonality of nature—noticing the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary. “I love the ocean and the water and everything to do with it. Watching the tides. It’s just really cool.”

‘It’s one thing we can do to help in the best way we can.’

Janice Zagata, Owner of the Ocean Inn at Manzanita

Uniting Together to Support Coastal Conservation

While she was especially motivated to choose NCLC as the beneficiary because of the organization’s work in marine zones—particularly the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve—she has a fondness for the forests and land as well. She enjoys sharing that with her guests at the Ocean Inn.

“I get really excited when I can tell them where they can go and see really good views and enjoy the outside,” Janice says. “For tourism, just to see our beautiful area is huge—and to respect it, of course.”

She believes contributing to the protection and stewardship of the natural world should be a common goal.

“It just needs support; it’s an ongoing thing that’s never going to go away,” she says. “I think everyone needs to support it. Everyone contributes to its demise—if there is a demise—so everyone needs to contribute to keeping it healthy and thriving.” As for her, taking part in the Kind Traveler program is merely another way to give back as a business partner. “It’s one thing we can do to help in the best way we can.”


  • By John Boesch
    By John Boesch @

    I assume she may have attended the “legacy Forest” program last night at the Pine Grove Community Center sponsored by the Nancy WNehalem Water Conservation Association. I would be interested in knowing what some of the locals thought about the presentation

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