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Special Presentation Mar. 10 on Oregon / Washington Coast Whale Entanglements

Published 03/09/21 at 5:45 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Special Presentation on Oregon / Washington Coast Whale Entanglements Wed. Night

(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – Like the rest of the Oregon coast, Cannon Beach’s Friends of Haystack Rock is forced to hold their events online. Still, the group’s World of Haystack Rock Library Lecture Series continues, this time on Wednesday night (March 10) in a special presentation on how whales get entangled off the Oregon and Washington coast and what might be done to prevent it. (Above: photo of a gray whale with her calf at Seaside, courtesy Seaside Aquarium / Tiffany Boothe)

It features Kiirsten Flynn, who is a certified responder to whale entanglements – when whales get caught in large fishing nets or other manmade constructs.

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The lecture happens at 7 p.m. on Facebook Live (@Friends of Haystack).

These are recurring lectures with different speakers and topics, according to the group’s Tiffany Boothe. They are held on the second Wednesday of every month from November to May.

Flynn’s lecture is entitled “Insights into large whale entanglements in the Pacific Northwest from research of populations, responses and reports.”

She worked professionally in the boat based education field for 10 years as an educator, deck officer and as a US Coast Guard certified Captain on large traditionally-rigged sailing vessels and other boat-based educational vessels.

In 2004 she received her Masters in Environmental Management with a focus on aquatic invasive species vector management. She came back to Cascadia from 2006-2008 assisting with the SPLASH project, out in the field and as an educator.

Later, she and John Calambokidis partnered as adjunct faculty with The Evergreen State College teaching a course on marine mammals in 2008 and 2010. Kiirsten returned to Cascadia in 2012 full-time after teaching environmental science at the middle school level.

She is currently one of Cascadia's boat drivers in the field, a NOAA certified Level 3 Entangled Large Whale Responder and she assists with the data management for West Coast projects. She is also Cascadia's intern coordinator, and enjoys giving presentations to all levels of classes and the public. Her current main interests include ship strike mitigation, large whale entanglement response and diversity and inclusion issues in the marine mammal field.

Other upcoming lectures from the north Oregon coast group:

On April 14, Katie Volkie from North Coast Land Conservancy talks about “Climate Change and Conservation.”

On May 12, Tim Halloran’s presentation covers the really cute in Cannon Beach: “Just how do you monitor the puffins?“

Friends of Haystack Rock is a nonprofit organization focused on keeping Haystack Rock healthy and thriving. Our mission is to promote the preservation and protection of the intertidal life and birds that inhabit the Marine Garden and Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge at Haystack Rock. We do this in cooperation with Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) and other partnerships.

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Photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium

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