Sea Otter Lecture
Bob Bailey will speak on “Ghosts in the Kelp: Sea Otters in Oregon” on Thursday, March 15, 6 p.m. in the Dye House at the Willamette Heritage Center (1313 Mill St., S.E.) in Salem. The event, part of the Straub Environmental Center lecture series, is free (with donation suggested) and open to the public.
Bailey, an Oregon Shores board member and retired director of Oregon’s Coastal Management Program, will discuss the history of sea otters in Oregon and their disappearance, their ecological and cultural importance, and the prospects for their return and recovery. With Bailey’s leadership, Oregon Shores has joined coastal tribes, scientific researchers and other conservationists in forming the Elakha Alliance, a coalition which will work to support research into the possibility of restoring a population of sea otters to Oregon’s nearshore ocean.
Otters were hunted into extinction in Oregon. They play a key role in the health of kelp forest ecosystems. An earlier effort at restoration failed. The Elakha Alliance will work to lay the scientific groundwork for a better-prepared effort. Oregon Shores has had restoration of a sea otter population on its future agenda for many years, and will now play an active role in pursuing this goal.