Oregon Coast Presentations on El Nino, Birds, Marine Debris, the Blob

Published 09/23/2015 at 5:22 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff


(Oregon Coast) – October 1 and 2 present some unique learning opportunities on two parts of the Oregon coast. One event happens on the north coast, while another on the central coast.

On October 2, it's all about Seabirds, Marine Mammals and Marine Debris with a presentation at 6:30 p.m. at the Cannon Beach City Hall.

The first half is called “Impact of Marine Debris on Marine Animals – How Can We Help?,” given by marine mammal biologist Kim Raum-Suryan. Kim's presentation will discuss the life cycle of pinnipeds and impacts of marine debris that threaten these creatures in various ways.

The second have is given by her husband, Rob Suryan, and is called "Effect of Environmental Variability and Marine Debris on Seabirds." Suryan has studied the effects of environmental change on the reproductive biology, foraging ecology and population dynamics of marine birds for 20 years. Rob's presentation will cover the threats of marine debris on seabirds.


The program is put together by CoastWatch, Haystack Awareness Program and Friends of Cape Falcon Reserve. Cannon Beach City Hall is at 160 E. Gower St., Cannon Beach, Oregon.

The day before, October 1, brings a special program to the central Oregon coast that asks the question, “What’s happening with the Blob and this year’s El Niño?”

The public is invited to the MidCoast Watersheds Council monthly meeting in conjunction with Hatfield Marine Science Center's Science on Tap series Thursday, October 1st at 6:30 pm in Toledo (just east of Newport). The topic will be the unusual oceanographic conditions along the West Coast with an update on the “Blob” and strengthening El Niño. The meeting will be held at the Twisted Snout Brewery in Toledo, located at 318. S. Main St.

Dr. Laurie Weitkamp will be the presenter. She is a salmon biologist at the NOAA Fisheries' Northwest Fisheries Science Center here in Newport. She studies the ecology of young salmon in estuarine and marine environments to better understand why salmon survival is highly variable among years. This topic includes documenting the impacts of recent unusual conditions on our local marine ecosystem.

Since late 2013, the Northeast Pacific ocean and adjacent terrestrial environments have been unusually warm; this warm water mass is commonly referred to as “the blob.” In spring 2015, an El Niño began to develop at the equator, which will reach full strength during the winter 2015/2016 and likely be the largest on record. Laurie will provide a review of these two events and describe some of the biological impacts they're having in local waters and across the North Pacific.



 

 

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