180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita,
Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City,
Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.
It's Fall on the Coast: Summer is Here Again.
Coast Dead Zone Exiting, Leaves Small Mark on Tourism
floor filled with decaying sea life (photos courtesy OSU)
- Oregon scientists say a particularly deadly and devastating dead
zone off the Oregon coast has officially ended, with oxygen levels
returning to normal and expected to continue increasing.
In the middle
of October, winds along the coastline made their usual shift from
summer southward-blowing winds to fall and winter northward-blowing
winds, halting the main culprit behind the deadly low oxygen levels:
upwellings from deep in the ocean.
Oregon State University say they will continue keeping an eye on
the area with more new technology and seek more funding to study
the phenomenon. Work is already underway to detail the damage caused
by the event, which has broken all records by being the fifth such
dead zone in recent years, and larger and longer lasting than any
In the meantime,
researchers say this event had some other interesting side effects
in the world of fishing, crabbing and scientific oddities like the
“glowing sand” phenomenon that may be not so bad, even
as they express concerns about the marine ecosystem’s ability
to handle such large intrusions. There may have been a few unusual
and not thoroughly unpleasant impacts to the coast’s tourism
|Researchers dropping equipment into
- a marine ecologist with OSU and the Partnership for Interdisciplinary
Studies of Coastal Oceans, or PISCO – said the numbers of
the event were off the charts. “We’ve seen these events
each year since 2002, but it’s normally not this low in oxygen
and causing this much death in the ocean as it is this year,”
Levels of dissolved
oxygen below 1.4 milliliters per liter are considered hypoxic to
marine life. This dead zone had many areas well below that, sometimes
10 to 30 times lower than normal. Other areas were nearly at zero.
The boundaries of the zone were apparently from Cape Perpetua up
to Cascade Head, near Lincoln City, and out to sea as far as 12
miles. Chan said it could have been larger, as they were only able
to test so much of the area.
Scientists said winds were stronger and more persistent from the
north, which caused more upwelling conditions. During the summer,
these conditions always exist, but not to the degree as in recent
years. This apparently created more of the upwelling conditions
and higher levels of hypoxia.
|Waters of Newport
puzzled by these shifts in wind tendencies, and believe this is
another reason for increased scrutiny of the ocean on a much wider
scope. Adding to the confusion is the movement of these hypoxic
areas: they would move in all directions.
Motel, Rockaway Beach
If expansive ocean views, close proximity to
golfing, fishing tours and quick access to seven miles of
pristine beaches is your thing, then this quintessential beauty
in Rockaway Beach is your ticket to vacation fun for families,
couples or large groups. Some rooms are pet friendly. All
rooms at the Tradewinds Motel are immaculate and have TV’s,
VCR’s and in-room phones with data ports. The oceanfronts
all have a queen bed, a double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog
fireplace and a private deck. Some oceanfront units come with
all those amenities but the kitchens. Both types sleep up
to four people. The non-oceanfront rooms are appointed with
a queen bed, small fridge, and coffee maker – sizable
for a two-person romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those
on a budget. There is an elaborate oceanfront Jacuzzi suite
that has two bedrooms, coming with a kitchen, double hide-a-bed,
fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For those
wanting bigger accommodations for family reunions or large
gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect to create
two-room and three-room suites. 523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway
Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938. www.tradewinds-motel.com
process is a normal one, say scientists, but wind conditions caused
an extreme case of these processes. This kind of upwelling brings
up more nutrients, which are then consumed by phytoplankton and
other forms of marine life.
This event was
a bit like a vicious circle in the circle of life in the deep: a
self-perpetuating set of conditions that could only go away when
storms or certain wind conditions begin churning up the sea –
as they have now.
like fish, invertebrates and phytoplankton die because of the low
oxygen, their decaying bodies suck more air out of the environment
and add toxic gases as well.
A third situation
adds even further. “These upwellings are rich in nutrients
and cause large blooms of phytoplankton,” Chan said.
The result is
more bodies to decay in the area.
The deeper waters
contain less oxygen because they are further from the air. “The
ocean is in layers,” Chan said. “And the deeper you
go, the more the layers do not have contact with the air. It’s
like they’re capped, with various layers in between them and
the surface, including large amounts of phytoplankton, keeping it
all away from the atmosphere.”
Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Getting
a free, fresh baked cookie upon check-in is just the beginning.
Every room is beachfront, and it's all right up against Lincoln
City's most famous stretch of beach, next to the D River.
Each room, comes as a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen
and balcony or patio. Some have gas fireplaces, while all
have a DVD Players with movies available for renting (and
movie rentals come with free popcorn). There's a heated indoor
pool, a spa, and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms
sleep anywhere from two, four to six - including a deluxe
fireplace suite. Gift certificates are available, and they
offer special occasion packages as well. To make a reservation
and see a virtual tour of the rooms, visit our website at
171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.
Chan said it
was a banner year for phytoplankton blooms. This could explain the
reported abundance of sightings of “glowing sand” during
the summer months – a phenomenon rare in Oregon that’s
caused by a kind of phytoplankton that is bioluminescent. Beachgoers
could see small, bluish, green sparks in the sand at night, caused
by washes of bioluminescent diatoms called dinoflagellates.
The irony is
that the dead zone may have had a couple positive side effects for
tourism on the coast, between the glowing sand and crabbing in the
region. There have been reports this summer of massive crab catches
in the bays of Newport and Waldport, and many scientists in Oregon
agree that it’s likely the dead zone chased populations of
crab into areas more convenient for humans to grab them.
in other instances, these marine creatures appeared to be fleeing
from the changing patches of hypoxic areas, creating good fishing
and crabbing one day in a certain spots and not so good there the
this event to reappear next year, so more observation is in order.
glider of sorts will monitor the ocean in the Newport area, providing
detailed information for the first time during the winter season.
A buoy with sophisticated electronics will also be in the area,
measuring biological productivity, dissolved oxygen, temperature,
salinity, current velocity and other data.
footage of the phenomenon is available here
graphic showing the zone during the summer is here
INTO LUXURY, HISTORY AT THE TIDES
TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. For over 80 years, The Tides has
been a favorite of Seaside visitors. History meets modern luxury
here. 51 oceanfront condos, individually owned and decorated. Find
suites for couples, small apartments with fireplaces and kitchenettes,
one or two bedroom family units with fireplaces, kitchens and dining
rooms. There are wonderful oceanview cottages that sleep anywhere
from two to eight people, with two bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces
Meanwhile, the heated outdoor pool, enormous grounds with picnic
tables and location at the quiet southern end of Seaside make for
some memorable means of play and repose. 2316 Beach Drive. 800-548-2846.
CLIFFTOP IN NEWPORT
POINT is located on the Central Oregon Coast - in Newport
- and offers only the finest in luxury condominium lodging. At Starfish
Point, every unit is focused on the beauty of the sea and the beach.
All of the units boast two bedrooms, two bathrooms, designer kitchens,
wireless broadband Internet, fireplaces, Jacuzzi’s and private
decks - surrounding you in soothing relaxation. We have a friendly
staff dedicated to high quality and superb customer service. 140
NW 48th Street, Newport. (541) 265-3751. (800) 870-7795. www.starfishpoint.com
Paradise Suites & Vacation Rentals - Seaside
Unique Luxury Accommodations in Seaside. 1BR Suites,
1BR & 2BR Duplex Units and 3BR Houses, units for 2-8 people.
Rent our entire property for 20-26. All units close to beach, river
and Broadway St.
Suites are designed for two adults; vacation rental units for families.
All units have kitchen and many have fireplace, deck and jetted
tub. Enjoy comfy robes & slippers, luxury bath amenities, quality
linens and more. See us on The Travel Channel's "Great Escapes"
show in August 2006. 741 S. Downing St., Seaside. 800-738-6691.
City Vacation Homes
There’s something for everyone
among this selection of wondrous homes: smaller homes with a view
to a large house that sleeps 15. All the homes are either oceanfront
or just a few steps away from the sand – all with a low
bank access and fantastic views. Most are in the Nelscott area;
one is close to the casino. You’ll find a variety of goodies,
depending on the home: fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, dishwashers,
Jacuzzis, washer/dryers, hot tubs, cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s
a loft in one, and another sprawling home has two apartments.
Pets are allowed in some homes – ask ahead. Each comes with
complete kitchens so you’ll have a home away from home.
Most have the seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85
to summer $230 per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com.
Biggest Travel Secret: Summer Starts with Fall on the Coast Called
the Second Summer, it means better weather and other surprises
Camping in High Gear on Oregon Coast Crowds are less
and weather is at its warmest
Coastal Village Wows with Mystic Vibe, Ghost Forest Neskowin
is different in many ways, including its geologic features
Abuzz Over Photos of Green Flash, Glowing Sand Coastal
residents caught photos of glowing sands and the green flash
It and Roughing It on Oregon’s Coast A look
at trails and rugged campgrounds
Wines and Wine Bars on the Oregon Coast Wine shops
and wine bars are a growing part of coastal tourism
coast mileage chart & map
trips, suggested itineraries
BeachConection.net's 800 pages
TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR
Where the Columbia
meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of
atmosphere & history
Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches
lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries
& an art mecca
beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town
secret of the coast: Cape Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside,
Netarts and Pacific City
A spouting horn
downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling
bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix
of the rugged & upscale
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles
and miles of fluffy dunes
weekly updated info on lodgings and accomodation reviews, see
the Travel News section