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In Oregon, the beaches belong to the people. As part of Oregon's tradition of environmental stewardship, the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition serves as the guardian of the public interest for our coastal region. Oregon Shores is dedicated to preserving the natural communities, ecosystems and landscapes of the Oregon coast while conserving the public's access.  Oregon Shores pursues these ends through education, advocacy, and engaging citizens to keep watch over and defend the Oregon coast.
  TOP STORIES
 Cape Perpetua Event Features Whales and Tidepools
Jim Sumich and marine friend.
Jim Sumich and marine friend.CoastWatch is hosting a dual event on Tuesday, Oct. 7 at the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center that will provide background information placing two of our citizen science projects in context.
At 4:30 p.m., CoastWatch Volunteer Coordinator Fawn Custer will lead a tidepool walk that will explore intertidal ecology, while also providing training for volunteers willing to participate in monitoring for sea stars. All CoastWatchers who have rocky shores within their miles are asked to keep watch over the sea star populations, which have been heavily impacted by the sea star wasting syndrome. Some volunteers are stepping forward to do more, by keeping watch over a particular patch of rocky shoreline on a regular basis. The walk leaves from the Visitor Center at 4:30 and returns shortly before 6 p.m.
Snacks and treats will be served from 6-6:25 p.m. Then marine mammal expert Jim Sumich will speak in the Visitor Center at 6:30 p.m. All CoastWatchers note marine mammal strandings; this talk will provide background on the whales that inhabit our nearshore ocean.
After a brief introduction to gray whales, Sumich will focus on recent research that has revealed at least four distinct migration/feeding patterns of gray whales in the North Pacific. The combination of radio tagging, photo identification and genetic studies is changing the way we look at separate populations of gray whales and how we manage our interactions with them.
A courtesy faculty member at Oregon State University, Jim Sumich is the author of a best-selling textbook on marine biology (now in its 10th edition) and co-author of the widely adopted “Marine Mammals: Evolutionary Biology.” He has taught at the college and university level for more than four decades and has conducted research on gray whales from British Columbia to Baja California. He currently resides in Oregon where he teaches a course on marine mammals at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center.
His peer reviewed general audience book "E. robustus: The Biology and Human History of Gray Whales,” has just been published in both digital and print formats. More information and order forms are available at http://www.thegraywhalebook.com.
The Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, located just south of the cape, is located at 2400 U.S. 101. For more information, contact Fawn Custer, (541) 270-0027, fawn@oregonshores.org.
 

  ALERTS
 Supporting Comments Urgently Needed for Jet Ski Ban on Salmon River
Aerial view of Salmon River mouth, with estuary behind. Photo courtesy of USGS.
At the request of local members, Oregon Shores has launched a campaign to ban jet skis on the Salmon River.
A petition to that effect has been submitted to the Oregon Marine Board, which held a Tuesday, Sept. 9 hearing to gather public feedback. No decision was made at the hearing—it was simply an opportunity for the public to testify. And testify it did. While a number of thoughtful voices supported our petition, a long line of jet skiers and fishermen (under the completely false impression that this action could wind up affecting them) testified that they wanted unfettered use of the river. A huge majority of those who visit the Salmon River, including those who visit the Sitka Center and Camp Westwind, and the many people who kayak and canoe on the estuary, would strongly prefer that jet skis be banned. It is vitally important that these voices be heard. If you care about protecting one of the coast's most important natural areas, be sure to submit comments to the Marine Board by Sept. 30.
The petition can be found online, posted near the bottom of this web page: http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/Pages/admin/OSMB_Rulemaking_Newpage.aspx.
The Salmon River estuary, just south of Cascade Head, is one of Oregon’s most ecologically important. Jet skis destroy the peace and solitude of the area, and pose a threat to kayakers, canoeists and others enjoying the area when they arrive on the narrow estuary in numbers, which happens from time to time. Jet skis also disturb wildlife, create wakes that can erode the area’s restored marshes and archeological and geological research sites, and in general have a disruptive effect on an area that is an important site for both non-intrusive recreation and research. The estuary lies within the Cascade Head National Scenic Research Area, the first “scenic research area” in the country. When it was created, the intention stated in the plan was that motorized craft on the river be restricted to 5 mph, but this regulation was never put in place by the Marine Board. Jet skis, of course, habitually go much faster than this.
Oregon Shores’ petition has been supported by the Salmon Drift Creek Watershed Council, the Westwind Stewardship Group, Lincoln City Audubon, the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, and the Cascade Head Ranch Homeowners’ Association. Individuals can submit letters of support through Sept. 30, or can attend the hearing. Comments can also be made via e-mail to osmb.rulemaking@state.or.us
We have outlined our arguments in favor of the jet ski ban, and also have a template for addressing letters to the Marine Board available (clicking the link will download a Word file to your computer).
 

MORE ALERTS...
 Volunteers Needed as Marine Debris Monitoring Project Prepares for Fall
The upsurge of marine debris on Oregon’s shoreline late last spring, much of it from the Japanese tsunami and some of it bearing potentially invasive organisms, was a reminder of the continued importance of monitoring for marine debris and cleaning it up. With winter storms on the horizon again, we need to ramp up our marine debris monitoring effort to be ready to respond. CoastWatch has been ... MORE 
 Help Wanted: Volunteers to Work on This Website
Looking for a way to get more involved with Oregon Shores and help us advance the cause of coastal conservation? If you have computer skills to offer, we need one or more volunteers to help keep our website up to date. This would involve learning to use the editing tools that are built into the website, then occasionally receiving information by email (article information, photos, links to ... MORE 
  EVENTS
 Join Us for Oregon Shores’ Annual Meeting (Mostly Fun, a Little Business Thrown In)
Dr. Bruce Menge
Mark your calendars for Nov. 8 and hang onto the date. Oregon Shores’ annual members’ meeting is coming up in Newport. We’ll take a few minutes for a business session, but for the most part we’ll focus on fun and on fascinating speakers. It’s all free, and non-members are definitely invited.
The event kicks off at 10 a.m. in the Hatfield Marine Science Center’s auditorium (doors open at 9:30). Featured speaker in the morning will be renowned marine ecologist Bruce Menge of Oregon State University, who will provide an overview of Oregon’s rocky shore ecosystems. He will be joined by graduate student Jenna Sullivan, who is studying the impact of sea star wasting syndrome on those intertidal communities. Between them, they will give us the ecological context for CoastWatch’s citizen science project to monitor the changing sea star population.
We’ll hold our brief business session after the morning science talks (anyone can sit in, but only members can vote—this would be a great time to renew your membership). Board elections include a new candidate for the board, Graham Klag—a surfer, artist, citizen science maven and the new education coordinator for the Salmon Drift Creek Watershed Council. (Current board members Michael Coe and Corrina Chase are also standing for re-election.)
In the afternoon at 1:30 p.m. we’ll hear from Rob Suryan, who will discuss the seabirds of the Oregon coast and their role in our marine ecosystems. Dr. Suryan is an Oregon State University senior research professor stationed at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.
Following the afternoon presentation, Volunteer Coordinator Fawn Custer will lead a beachwalk and explain CoastWatch’s citizen science projects. We’ll wind up with a party at the Rogue Brewery at 5:30 (feel free to join us even if you can’t attend the meeting during the day), featuring food, drink and a mystery speaker.
Please make plans to join us, stand up and be counted as a member—and learn all kinds of intriguing things about the coast we’re striving to protect.
 

  NEWS
 Public Hearing on Riprap Proposal Held in Rockaway
Site of proposed Rockaway riprap. Photo by Stuart Larson.
At the request of Oregon Shores and many of our individual members, a public hearing was held Tuesday, Aug. 26, at Rockaway City Hall, on a proposal to armor a section of Rockaway shoreline to protect a currently undeveloped lot.
The purpose was to collect public testimony on an application by Dale Anderson (BA# 695-14), requesting a permit to construct a riprap revetment for the purpose of erosion control on the ocean shore. The project is located on vacant tax lots 7800, 7900, 8000, 8100 and 8200, North Pacific Street, Rockaway Beach. The application will be evaluated against the beach alteration standards (OAR 736-20-003 through 736-20-032) and reviewed for consistency with the statewide planning goals and/or the acknowledged local comprehensive plan. Five CoastWatchers were among those who participated in the hearing, along with Phillip Johnson, Oregon Shores' executive director.
Oregon Shores raised questions about the appropriateness of installing riprap to protect an undeveloped lot before the owner even has a permit to build, and about “grandfathering in” permission to install a shoreline protection structure because riprap was place on the lot decades ago, before a permitting process existed.
We are now awaiting the decision by Tony Stein, State Parks' Ocean Shore coordinator.
For more information about Oregon Shores’ position, contact Phillip Johnson, executive director, (503) 754-9303, phillip@oregonshores.org.
 

MORE NEWS...
 Another Way to Support Oregon Shores While Shopping
Amazon may dominate the retail world, but now the company is sharing a little of its largesse with non-profits through its AmazonSmile Foundation. By designating your favorite non-profit group—namely, Oregon Shores—through the program, you can assure that a small share of the purchase price of anything sold on their website will go to support our work. Go to http://smile.amazon.com/ch/93-0952202 ... MORE