Conference Covers Changes to Oregon Coast Climate
(Newport, Oregon) - The 25th annual Coast Conference is coming to Newport’s Performing Arts Center on June 6. It features a big subject: climate change, and how it may affect Oregon's coastal region in coming decades.
The "Coastal Climate Action Conference" runs 9 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. (registration at 8:30) at the PAC, 777 W. Olive in Newport. The free event, located centrally but intended for the entire coast, is sponsored by the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition.
It is funded in part through a grant from the Spirit Mountain Community Trust.
The event also features a special cruise of Yaquina Bay aboard the Discovery. Speakers from the conference will be along to discuss the anticipated impact of climate change on estuaries. The cruise is a fund-raiser for Oregon Shores, and includes hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Cost is $75 for Oregon Shores members, $100 for non-members. Reservations for the cruise, lunch orders and pre-registration for the conference can all be arranged through the Oregon Shores website, oregonshores.org.
The conference will cover the science of climate change, and current state and federal policy, but the primary emphasis will be on empowering citizens to get involved in taking constructive action.
The day's opening speaker will be Angus Duncan, chair of the Oregon Governor’s Global Warming Commission and founder and president of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. He will provide an overview of state and federal policy in response to climate change, and discuss how Oregonians, and coastal residents in particular, can take action to reduce the emission of so-called “greenhouse gases.” He will be share a panel by Cathy Tortorici, chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Oregon Coast/Lower Columbia Habitat Branch, who will discuss the essential role of science in addressing climate change impacts.
Another key conference speaker will be Jennifer Hoffman, co-founder of EcoAdapt. Dr. Hoffman, a biologist who specializes in studying the impacts of climate change and adaptive methods of preserving marine ecosystems, is the author of Buying Time: A User’s Manual for Building Resistance and Resilience to Climate Change in Natural Systems. Hoffman’s talk will focus in part on the role that marine reserves can play in adapting to climate impacts. Oregon State University marine ecologist Mark Hixon will follow Hoffman’s talk with a discussion of science-based recommendations for promoting ecological resilience by building a national system of marine protected areas.
Other panel discussions will focus on planning for sea level rise and on the environmental concerns posed by wave energy development.
The conference will also feature short presentations by the members of the “Next Generation Team,” a group of community college students who have been working with Oregon Shores to engage more young people in working for coastal conservation.
After the close of the conference itself, the Marine Discovery Tours vessel Discovery will tour Yaquina Bay and the lower river. Jennifer Hoffman, Mark Hixon, Bob Bailey, head of Oregon’s Coastal Management Program, and other conference speakers will join the tour to offer comments on how climate change may affect estuaries, and Yaquina Bay in particular. Registration for this activity is separate.
Lunch can be ordered for $12.
For more information about the conference and cruise, contact Robin Hartmann, (541) 817-2275, [email protected], or go to the Oregon Shores website at oregonshores.org.