Presentation on Protecting Kelp

November 4, 2021 - 6:30 PM
MidCoast Watersheds Council

Kelp forest.\Photo by Lynn Lee.

At its Thursday, Nov. 4 virtual meeting, the MidCoast Watersheds Council offers a presentation on kelp and its importance to Oregon’s coastal environment.  The event, at 6:30 p.m., is free and open to all.

The presenter will be Tom Calvanese, coordinator of the Oregon Kelp Alliance (ORKA), which seeks to promote the health of Oregon's kelp forests through monitoring and researching conditions in kelp forest ecosystems, reducing urchin density in key areas to promote kelp forest regeneration, and engaging communities that rely on these systems. They recently received notice of a large federal grant to engage coastal communities in coastwide kelp surveys that will greatly enhance our ability to understand these systems and to promote kelp forest stewardship. 

Oregon's kelp forests are vital nursery habitat for young salmon and rockfish and an amazing variety of other marine species that sustain life and livelihoods on the Oregon coast. Changing ocean conditions and unchecked sea urchin populations have thrown the ecosystem that supports these highly productive forests out of balance, but a motivated group of researchers and community members on the Oregon coast is taking action to better understand and save Oregon's kelp forests.

Along with coordinating OKRA, Calvanese manages the Oregon State University Port Orford Field Station, which supports a wide variety of research and community activities throughout the year.  He served two terms as Port of Port Orford commissioner.

To attend this community meeting, go here.