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Nature Volunteering on N. Oregon Coast: Cannon Beach's Unique Opportunities

Published 06/01/2016 at 6:51 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach

(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – Here's a really cool idea on a new and particularly intensive way to spend time at the beach this summer: volunteer for one of two organizations in the north Oregon coast town of Cannon Beach, help out science and live life like a local for a time.

Two new reasons to hang out more in this area over the summer have popped up. You can help experts check on seabird populations, or help out as a nature interpreter at famed Haystack Rock. Both have training sessions very soon.

Do you love seabirds? Are you interested in helping scientists learn more about populations and nesting in the new Cape Falcon Marine Reserve located offshore of Oswald West State Park?

You can do just that with a special training on June 5 in Cannon Beach.

The Audubon Society of Portland, Friends of Cape Falcon Marine Reserve, Haystack Rock Awareness Program, and other partners are initiating a citizen science project in the summer of 2016 to monitor seabird nesting colonies next to the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve in order to better understand how seabirds may respond to the new protections.

The groups need volunteers to scope out the birds twice a month at the Devil’s Cauldron area (just north of Manzaita) and Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach.

The training happens June 5 at 2 p.m., at the Cannon Beach City Hall, 163 E Gower Street, Cannon Beach. This training will go for one to one and a half hours at Cannon Beach City Hall with the option of attending a field trip to the nesting colony after.

If this sounds interesting to you contact Amelia O’Connor (ameliajoconnor@gmail.com) and Joe Liebezeit (jliebezeit@audubonportland.org).

The Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) needs help with interpreters over the summer. Volunteer Interpreters prevent trampling of plants and animals, climbing in the refuge, and collecting of live animals. Volunteer interpreters also inspire stewardship of the area by educating visitors about the species that live here.

Haystack Rock and all of the rocks that are jutting out of the ocean on the Oregon coast are part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. This rock is one of the main seabird colonies in Oregon. It has eight different species of seabirds that nest here, including endangered tufted puffins, pigeon guillemots, and black oystercatchers, along with Pelagic and Brant's cormorants. The rock is surrounded by tide pools, which are one of seven protected marine gardens in the state of Oregon.

While the main need for volunteers is for Rocky Shore Interpreters in the tide pools, they also have opportunities for volunteers to help during field trips, as well as to participate in citizen science projects, such as monitoring marine debris, surveying remaining sea stars at Haystack Rock, and many more.

You can check it all out on June 18 in Cannon Beach and learn about what opportunities you have to protect this amazing place. The training will take place 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at City Hall, 163 E Gower, Cannon Beach, Oregon, with opportunities after the training at Cape Falcon Marine Reserve and the tide pools at Haystack Rock. This training will be valuable to both new and old volunteers.

Guest Speakers will include Joe Leibezeit, Avian Conservation Program Manager with the Audubon Society of Portland, who will be giving a presentation about seabirds monitoring at colonies adjacent to Cape Falcon Marine Reserve. This reserve will allow a better understanding of how nesting seabirds may respond to the new protections, and is coordinated with seabird nest monitoring at the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve/Marine Protected Area. During the training Joe will provide information on the seabirds of Oregon, discuss the conservation challenges they face, and talk through the protocol for surveying the seabirds.

Tiffany Booth of the Seaside Aquarium will be giving a presentation about some of the different species that you can see in the rocky intertidal and nearshore ecosystems of the North Pacific coast, and she will have touch tanks available for the volunteers to see some of these species. Tiffany will also be speaking about the Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and what to do if you find a seal, or other creature beached while volunteering at Haystack Rock.

Also on hand: presentations about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge and, of course how to interpret at Haystack Rock. Light snacks, refreshments, and lunch will be provided. Contact: 503-436-8095. Where to stay for this event - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour






 

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A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, saut�ed scallops.
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