Annie Merrill in the field.

Annie Merrill in the field, studying oysters and eelgrass.

Oregon Shores will greatly enhance our capacity to tackle important land use and shoreline management issues in 2023. Long-time Executive Director Phillip Johnson is taking on a new role, that of Conservation Director (while a new Executive Director, Elise Newman, will handle the administrative side of the organization).  But that isn’t all.  Another new position, that of Land Use Coordinator, has been added to the mix, providing even more expanded support to our policy and advocacy work.

To fill the new role, we have hired Annie Merrill. Annie recently graduated with her Masters of Science from Oregon State University’s vaunted Marine Resource Management program. Her thesis research focused on interactions between eelgrass and pacific oysters to inform ecosystem-based management of aquaculture. She received her Bachelors of Science in biology at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Before coming to Oregon, Annie spent some time working as a field technician for the Yellowstone Wolf Project and wrote grants for the Teton Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in her hometown of Victor, Idaho. Annie’s passion for the outdoors and the ocean stems from her adventures in scuba diving and surfing (not to mention skiing, mountaineering, and biking). She steps into the role in January.

Working closely with the Conservation Director, Annie may delve into a wide range of issues over time, but in the early going she will focus tightly on estuary management (including eelgrass habitat protection) and blue carbon.