|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.|
| Fri Feb 28 NEW Register Now for ‘Sharing the Coast’ Conference|
Alan Rammer Time to “share the coast” again. The 2014 edition of our annual Sharing the Coast Conference is coming up March 14-15 in Seaside and March 16 in Cannon Beach.
Sharing the Coast is a cavalcade of slide talks, workshops and field trips devoted to coastal and marine science and stewardship. This year the conference features presentations on everything from tidepools, estuaries and birds to offshore habitats, marine debris and “beached marine critters.” The complete schedule is now available here, and registration is now open here along with a more detailed program. Registration can also take place at the door.
The event is sponsored each year by CoastWatch in partnership with the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME). (Since long-time NAME leader Fawn Custer joined CoastWatch in 2013 as our volunteer coordinator, the partnership has become even closer.) Local co-sponsors this year are the Necanicum Watershed Council, the Haystack Rock Awareness Program, and Seaside Aquarium.
The conference is designed to provide CoastWatchers with information helpful in monitoring the shoreline and to enrich the backgrounds of teachers who “share the coast” through classroom education or interpretive programs. However, it is open to the general public, and the information presented will be of interest to anyone who loves the coast.
Dr. HeppellSharing the Coast kicks off with two evening “Community Talks” on Friday, March 14, 6:45 PM at the Bob Chisholm Community Center (1225 Avenue A) in Seaside. This evening program is free and open to all. Friday evening speakers are Stacy Galleher, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s community engagement coordinator, speaking on “Diving into Oregon’s Marine Reserves” (featuring slides and video of undersea habitats); and Dr. Selina Heppell, professor of fisheries at Oregon State University, “Bottoms Up: Getting Involved with Science and Conservation of Our Coastal Resources.” Doors open at 6 PM.
On Saturday, March 15, the main conference begins at 9 AM. (registration at 8:30 AM) in the Bob Chisholm Community Center. Keynote speaker will be Alan Rammer, the 2012 National Marine Educator of the Year. Rammer, recently retired from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and a popular ecotour guide, will discuss the importance and challenge of "Educating Diverse Audiences About Marine Ecosystems."
Dr. DuffieldOther Saturday morning speakers include Dr. Debbie Duffield of Portland State University on "Ocean Health as Observed Through the Marine Mammal Stranding Network;" Neal Maine, founder of the North Coast Land Conservancy, on estuaries and restoring watersheds -- "65 Years Hanging Out at the Necanicum Estuary;" and Dr. Ralph Breitenstein of the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport on "Tsunami Debris: What is Washing Up on Our Shores?"
After lunch (included with registration), Saturday afternoon will be taken up with breakout workshops and field trips. The day will conclude with a social event at the Seaside Brewing Co., including a short talk on “Things You May Not Know about the Ocean,” by Alan Rammer and a shoreline science trivia contest.
On Sunday, March 16, the conference moves to the Cannon Beach Community Hall (207 N. Spruce St.), beginning at 9 AM. Morning speakers include marine ecologist Cynthia Trowbridge, on “The Natural History of the Driftline”; Jen Zamon of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on "Birds, Salmon, and Forage Fishes in the Columbia River Estuary: Addressing Conflict among Protected Species;" and Danielle Asson, a newly minted graduate of Oregon State University’s Marine Resource Management Program, on how citizens can help scientists develop data through "Beached Marine Critters--A Citizen Science Protocol.”
After lunch (on your own, although sack lunches can be ordered when registering), the conference will wind up with a number of guided field trips; choose a beach, estuary, or aquarium field trip (see the complete schedule for details.)
Cost of the conference is $15 for current Oregon Shores or NAME members; $30 for members of the public; or $40 for those who join or renew membership in either organization at the time of registering. (See the registration site for prices for students and families.) For those attending Sunday only, the conference fees are $5 for members and $10 for non-members. For more information, contact Fawn Custer, CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, at (541) 270-0027, email@example.com.
| Oct 17 2013 CoastWatch and OMDT Partners Offer Marine Debris Grants|
Volunteer Lisa Wallace measures out NOAA monitoring site at Muriel O. Ponsler State Park. Photo by Charlie Plybon. The Oregon Marine Debris Team (OMDT) is seeking volunteer groups to participate in a community grants program which will support monitoring for marine debris. Up to 10 local groups (either existing organizations or teams that unite for this effort) will be awarded $500 to assist them in regularly monitoring and submitting reports on marine debris that washes up at selected sites. The original deadline for grants has passed, and we have applicants getting ready to participate in eight of the areas, but two slots remain unfilled, at the southern and northern ends of Oregon's coast, so it is still possible to apply in Curry and Clatsop counties. Check with Fawn Custer, CoastWatch's volunteer coordinator, who is managing the project for OMDT.
The project is part of an ongoing research program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Participating groups will employ a “protocol” developed by NOAA to gather data and the types and amounts of marine debris reaching the shore. Monitoring sites are 100 meters (about 325 feet) long, and are selected according to specific criteria. Surveys must be done regularly on a monthly basis. The information collected, using NOAA’s method, is then uploaded onto a website.
There is little scientific data on how much and what types of marine debris washes up on Oregon’s shoreline. The new research project will collect “baseline data” on debris accumulations in Oregon, part of a national study funded by NOAA.
Specific sites should fall within areas chosen for the study. A map of the potential areas can be found by clicking here. Within each area, preference will be given to proposals for more remote areas with less human traffic and where it is less likely that litter will be picked up between monitoring sessions.
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—with the cooperation of Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
Community grants, intended to help volunteers cover costs of transportation and equipment such as bags, measuring tape, or marker flags, require a commitment to monitor a site consistently for two years, reporting the data according to the NOAA protocol. Recipient groups will also be required to send 1-3 members to a training workshop to learn about the monitoring techniques and link up with other groups involved with marine debris monitoring. You will find more about this, and a listing of the sites for which monitoring is sought, on the OMDT site.
For information, contact Fawn Custer OR CALL (541) 270-0027. Or go to the OMDT website, omdt.org. Contact Fawn also if you would be willing to help scout any stretch of the Oregon shoreline for marine debris on a regular basis.
Contact: Phillip Johnson, Executive Director, (503) 754-9303, or EMAIL
| Oct 21 2013 Oregon Shores Wins Another Appeal of Crook Point Resort |
The state’s Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) has once again found in Oregon Shores’ favor in an appeal of the proposed Crook Point destination resort. In a recent decision, LUBA agreed with us that Curry County once again failed to follow either its own comprehensive plan or the underlying statewide land use regulations in designating “coastal shorelands.” This is a crucial point, because areas ...
| Jun 10 2013 Clean Water Act Lawsuit Filed to Protect Coalbank Slough|
Oregon Shores has joined with Coos Waterkeeper in filing a civil lawsuit in federal court to enforce the Clean Water Act for the protection of Coalbank Slough and the Coos Bay estuary. The lawsuit filed on our behalf by the Crag Law Center, our partners in the Coastal Law Project, arises from a failed grading and fill project that has dumped about 1,500 cubic yards of spoils into an important ...