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Cannon Beach Talk Looks at Oregon Coast Conservation with 'Living Amongst the Giants'

Published 2/02/24 at 3:45 a.m.
B
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Cannon Beach Talk Looks at Oregon Coast Conservation with 'Living Amongst the Giants'

(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – Every month, the Friends of Haystack Rock put together a different lecture about one aspect of the Oregon coast or another, imparting not just knowledge and fun ways to cram new stuff into your head but an appreciation of the beauty of it all. Their Nature Talks presentations run the gamut over the winter season, from whales to the tiniest of creatures, and from towering trees to grains of sand. (Above: near Oceanside at Cape Lookout State Park / Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

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This February 14 is no different with what they call a “celebration of life on the Oregon coast” and a look at the conservation work that North Coast Land Conservancy (NCLC) does in the region. “Living Amongst the Green Giants” happens at 6 p.m. at the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce - 207 N. Spruce Street.

It's a presentation by NCLC Marine Coordinator Angela Whitlock and NCLC Executive Director Katie Voelke, going from anemones to old-growth trees.

“The Oregon Coast is home to some of the most immense life forces on the planet, with the Pacific Ocean and the rainforest coming together at the sea cliffs,” NCLC said. “That’s why NCLC does our work in this region, to protect and care for this rare and wonderful place and its vast biodiversity.”

You'll get an evening of celebrating life among these lands and waters - from the coastal prairies and wetlands to the peaks of the Coast Range and from the dynamic rocky intertidal to the expansive Cape Falcon Marine Reserve. Learn about the incredible impacts of local conservation in this expansive look.

Voelke was raised in a home under oak trees where she spent many hours collecting bugs, making mud pies with her sister, and camping and hiking with her parents in the summers. She said she is sure that this life-long exposure to the natural world is what led her on a path to study biology in school. Katie settled on Oregon’s north coast with her husband Scott in 2003 and spent time doing field work with the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife before she finally found her calling: working in land conservation with NCLC.

Starting out as NCLC’s first Stewardship Director in 2005, she worked under founding Executive Director, Neal Maine, learning the ropes for three years. In 2008 she took the helm as Executive Director. Her passion still lies in the outdoors, spending as much time as she can bug collecting with her three sons and spending the summers hiking and camping with family.

Whitlock was raised in Portland but spent ample time on the coast with her family hiking, camping, biking, crabbing, fishing, and exploring the beaches. For some 25 years, she was a professional goldsmith, eventually bringing her to the north Oregon coast. Whitlock attended college later in life in Astoria, becoming the first recipient of the Environmental Steward Certificate through the college, in partnership with Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition.

She became a volunteer in conservation efforts, digging deep into marine debris surveys, salmon stream surveys, and CoastWatch’s Adopt a Mile program. . In 2020, she joined Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) as a lead environmental interpreter and became immersed in the world of rocky intertidal habitat, satisfying the longing she felt as a child to be a marine biologist. She joined the Tidepool Ambassador Program (TAP) at Cape Falcon Marine Reserve in 2021 and served two seasons. In March 2023, she started as NCLC’s Marine Program Coordinator, giving her an opportunity to further her passion for coastal conservation. In her leisure time, she enjoys nature journaling; walking outdoors with her dog Cricket; bird watching; and exploring tide pools (she’s still holding out hope to find evidence of the existence of mermaids).

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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