'Sharing the Coast' Time Soon to Arrive

Horsfall Beach near Coos Bay; European beachgrass (foreground) will be a topic at the conference.\Photo by Dina Pavlis.

The 11th annual Sharing the Coast Conference is coming up March 13-15.  This time around the conference, a collaboration between CoastWatch and the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME), will be held in Coos Bay, at Southwestern Oregon Community College (SWOCC).

The conference is designed to provide background information relevant to CoastWatchers as they monitor their miles and participate in citizen science, as well as to NAME members in their roles as teachers and docents.  But all the talks, breakout sessions, and field trips will be of interest to anyone who loves the coast.  The agenda offers information on everything from the impacts of sea level rise, marine debris, and invasive species, to rocky shore habitats, pelicans, and marine mammals.

The conference kicks off Friday evening, March 13, at 7 p.m. in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts auditorium.  In a talk co-sponsored with SWOCC’s Geology Lecture Series, Dr. Eric Steig of the University of Washington will address “The Future of Ice.”  Steig will address what we know and have yet to learn about climate change in the polar regions, and how this may affect the global ocean and thus Oregon’s shore.  This talk is free and open to the public.  You will be able to register for the rest of the conference at this event.

Saturday’s full day begins at 9 a.m, with registration open at 8:30.  Among the speakers will be:

  • Trish Mace, director of the University of Oregon’s Charleston Marine Life Center
  • Sally Hacker, a professor of integrative biology at Oregon State University, speaking on invasive grasses, sea level rise, and the future of beach and due ecosystems
  • Jim Rice, director of the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network, on how CoastWatchers and other observers can aid scientists in tallying stranded animals
  • Hillary Burgess, science coordinator for the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team at the University of Washington, on the beached bird survey
  • State Parks Beach Ranger Ryan Parker
  • Tara Dubois and Paul Engelmeyer of the Cape Perpetua Area Collaborative, on public engagement in monitoring and supporting the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve
  • Scientist Deborah Jaques on the Brown Pelican survey
  • Marine debris artist Elizabeth Roberts

For the complete agenda, go here:  https://tinyurl.com/uhxeqmh.

On Saturday evening, an after-party will also serve as the wrap-up celebration for this winter’s very successful King Tides Project.  This event is free and open to all, whether not attending the conference.  Gather at Dave’s Pizza for food and drinks, king tide photos, and a talk on how sea level rise is affecting our coast by Nick Tealer, NOAA Coastal Fellow with the state’s Department of Land Conservation and Development and our colleague in organizing the King Tides Project.

Sunday will be the time for field trips, including a special tour of the Charleston Marine Life Center.

Conference fee for the general public is $25, and includes lunch.  There are a variety of discounts available.  The fee is $20 for Oregon Shores and/or CoastWatch members (and just $15 for students or those Living Lightly); other discounts are available when the conference fee is combined with a new or renewed membership.  To register online, go to https://tinyurl.com/STCC2020.