A Look at Oregon Coast Marine Debris, King Tides

Published 10/04/2015 at 6:02 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff


(Oregon Coast) – A discussion about marine debris along the Oregon coast and a call for help documenting king tides. These are all making the news lately, primarily ferried along by the organization CoastWatch.

CoastWatch volunteer coordinator Fawn Custer will be speaking on marine debris in Yachats, as part of an evening sponsored by the Yachats Academy of Arts and Sciences on Thursday, October 15, 6:30 p.m. The free public event takes place at the Yachats Commons (1555 Highway 101 in the middle of town).

Fawn will discuss marine debris arriving on Oregon’s coast, and the efforts of CoastWatch and our partners in the Oregon Marine Debris Team (Surfrider, SOLVE, Washed Ashore and Oregon Sea Grant) to both monitor and combat it. She will discuss the nature of the debris arriving here, particularly tsunami debris and the risk of invasive species it may carry. She will talk about our cleanup efforts and their results, and explain the formal marine debris survey that CoastWatch directs on behalf of the OMDT. More volunteers are always needed for the teams that conduct these surveys.

Fawn’s talk will accompany the film “It’s Everybody’s Ocean,” a documentary which tells the story of Ikema, a tiny outpost of the Miyako Islands, and the residents’ struggles to combat marine debris. More information on the website, http://oregonshores.org/coastwatch.php5.

CoastWatch is also giving a heads up on the King Tides Project, which starts again later this month. This year’s version of the King Tide project will focus on the coming winter’s three series of extreme tides, all falling in 2015: October 27-29, November 24-27, and December 23-25.

For the sixth year, CoastWatch is sponsoring the annual King Tide project. This is the Oregon branch of an international volunteer effort to trace the year’s highest tides by means of photography. Documenting the highest reach of the tides tells organizers and scientists something about areas of the natural and built environments which are subject to erosion and flooding now. It can tell even more about what to expect as sea level rises.

Co-sponsors this year include the state’s Coastal Management Program, Surfrider, Washed Ashore and the Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP); other organizations are also invited to get involved.

The groups are asking anyone capable of taking a photograph and able to get to the coast during the series of high tides to take shots at the highest point of the tide on those days. These photos can focus on any feature. Those that show the location of the tide in relation to the built environment (roads, seawalls, buildings) are especially useful in demonstrating impending threats. The ideal photo would be taken from a location where the photographer can return later at an ordinary high tide to take a comparison shot.

Participants will post photographs online through the King Tide Photo Initiative Site.

More information will come your way soon on how to participate, once the site is up and running. For more information on the project, watch the website, http://oregonshores.org/climate.php5.

At the conclusion of the project, three celebrations will be held along the coast. The January 8, 2016 celebration is being hosted by HRAP in Cannon Beach, the Jauary 15 celebration will be hosted by CoastWatch somewhere in Lincoln County, and the Jauary 22 celebration will be hosted by Washed Ashore in Bandon.

For information about the project, and about participating in the special effort to document the King Tides in the marine reserve areas, contact Fawn Custer, CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, at (541) 270-0027, fawn@oregonshores.org.





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