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    Position: Marine Reserves  
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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.
  ALERTS
 Volunteers Needed as Marine Debris Monitoring Project Prepares for Fall
Float carrying non-native mussels. Photo by Charlie Plybon.
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. Here's a handout on our current project--please pass this along to others to help us build the strength of our community teams.
CoastWatch has been working with four partner groups as the Oregon Marine Debris Team (OMDT) to address the debris problem. This involves scouting the shoreline for debris and organizing cleanups. It also involves a citizen science project, through which teams of volunteers survey sites on a regular basis and develop data about the amounts and types of debris washing up on our coast. Plus, it involves scouting for potential invasive organisms ferried on tsunami debris.
Fawn Custer, our CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, is heading up this effort on behalf of the OMDT. Our goal is to organize teams to conduct monthly surveys at 11 sites. We now have 10 sites up and running. The 11th site is wide open to anyone who wants to pull together a team. Thanks to funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), made available through Oregon Sea Grant (one of our OMDT partners), we provide $500 “community grants” to assist these teams in purchasing equipment and covering transportation costs. The teams commit to regular surveys using a formal NOAA protocol. We provide training and support.
Even where we have teams actively working, help is needed to augment the group so that there will always be enough volunteers to cover the site each month. Contact Fawn to learn where new volunteers are especially needed (but you are welcome to participate anywhere). A particular goal is to gather solid data on marine debris on shorelines in the vicinity of Oregon's new marine reserves.
The existing teams include two in Clatsop County, two in Lincoln County, two in Curry County and one each in Douglas, Coos, Tillamook and Lane counties. No prior experience is necessary. Training and support will be provided by the Oregon Marine Debris Team (OMDT), a partnership among four non-profit organizations—CoastWatch, Surfrider, SOLVE, Washed Ashore—plus Oregon Sea Grant. The OMDT actively collaborates with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
For information or to volunteer, contact Fawn Custer: via email, (541) 270-0027. Or go to the OMDT website, click here. Contact Fawn also if you would be willing to help scout any stretch of the Oregon shoreline for marine debris on a regular basis.
 

MORE ALERTS...
 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 
  NEWS
 Oregon Shores Helps to Form New Marine Reserves Partnership
Hart's Cove on Cascade Head, one of Oregon's new marine reserves. Photo by Alex Derr.
Having campaigned for more than a decade for the creation of Oregon’s new network of marine reserves, Oregon Shores has joined forces with five other groups to found the Oregon Marine Reserves Partnership. The goal of the new OMRP is to share information, promote good science and relevant research, and to engage citizens with their new marine reserves. In short, the goal is to work toward making the marine reserves successful.
Along with Oregon Shores, the OMRP members are the Audubon Society of Portland, Oceana, Surfrider Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and the Coast Range Association. Oregon Shores Executive Director Phillip Johnson and Robin Hartmann, our Ocean Policy Advocate, have been involved in the discussions over the past year that led to the formation of the partnership.
The OMRP, which officially launched on Oct. 20, is working on several outreach initiatives to engage people in marine reserves and protected areas, including signage, a new website, http://www.oregonmarinereserves.org, helping local groups interested in participating in marine reserve and protected area activities, and sharing information at local events. The six founding organizations each send a representative to a steering committee, which has two rotating co-chairs. The partnership has also brought aboard a coordinator, Lisa DeBruyckere, who can be reached at (503) 704-2884 or lisad@oregonmarinereserves.org.
“Now that marine reserves and protected areas have been created, engaging all Oregonians in their stewardship is critical to success,” said co-chair Pete Stauffer of Surfrider Foundation.
Adds the other co-chair, Paul Engelmeyer of Audubon, “People can participate in seabird monitoring, adopt a CoastWatch mile, conduct surveys to document sea star wasting syndrome, take water samples to monitor for water quality along Oregon beaches, or join a community group focused on research and volunteer activities. The OMRP can connect people to marine reserves and protected areas for the simple enjoyment of those areas as well as several different types of volunteer activities.”
The five marine reserves are Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, Otter Rock, Cape Perpetua, and Redfish Rocks.
 

MORE NEWS...
 Marine Board Refuses to Consider Salmon River Jet Ski Petition
At the request of local members, Oregon Shores launched a campaign to ban jet skis on the Salmon River. We've run into an obstruction for the moment, however, as the Oregon Marine Board at its Oct. 22 in Astoria refused even to consider the petition we submitted. Our petition, drafted with the help of the Crag Law Center, our partners in the Coastal Law Project, gathered support from many ... MORE 
 Donate-While-You-Shop Program Benefits Oregon Shores and CoastWatch
Coastal conservationists can support Oregon Shores and CoastWatch while shopping, without spending an extra penny. Fred Meyer’s Community Rewards program divides up $2.5 million each year among non-profit organizations whose members or other supporters designate them as beneficiaries. If you shop at Fred Meyer, please consider helping Oregon Shores to protect the coast with every purchase. Sign ... MORE