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Oregon's Sharing the Coast Conference Returns, March 8 - 10

Published 02/28/2019 at 1:23 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Oregon's Sharing the Coast Conference Returns, March 8 - 10

(Newport, Oregon) – For the tenth year the Sharing the Coast Conference returns to a beach town somewhere in Oregon to impart a whole new level of knowledge about the Oregon coast. This time around it all happens in Newport on March 8 through 10, at the Hatfield Marine Science Center (2030 S.E. Marine Science Drive) in the South Beach area.

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It’s always a cornucopia of information about coastal science, natural history, shoreline monitoring, and environmental stewardship, put together by CoastWatch and the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME). Register at this website; attendance fees vary.

The event is open to the public, and the activities on the schedule, including lectures, field trips, workshops, and a Saturday evening party, would be of interest to anyone fascinated by coastal natural history and wishing to learn more about how to protect shoreline resources.

This time around, highlights include an appearance by Jim Rice of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and veteran marine educator and ecotour leader Marty Giles will speak on the most basic of shoreline subjects, “All About Sand.” She will take the audience on a virtual tour of our sandy shores, explaining where sand comes from, what it does while it is on the beach or dune, what lives within it, and where it goes.

The annual conference is also designed as a way to learn more about monitoring the shore as a CoastWatch volunteer, participating in citizen science projects, and educating others about the shoreline and marine environment, whether as a teacher or field interpreter.

Events kickoff on Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m. with the Community Talk, a Sharing the Coast tradition featuring Giles.

On Saturday everything starts at 9 p.m. The schedule:

Marine ecologist Cynthia Trowbridge talks on “The Ecology of the Driftline,” exploring all the natural materials that wash up on shore and what they tell us about marine life

Bruce Menge, well-known rocky shore ecologist, will be speaking on rocky shore ecology, climate change, and the fate of sea stars in the midst of all this.

Environmental scientist Dorothy Horn discusses plastics in the ocean (and especially “microplastics”) and how they affect the Oregon coast.

Avian researcher Jessica Porquez does a presentation on Oregon’s seabird populations and the research being conducted on them, helping to explain the lives and origins of the beached birds we find on shore.

On the subject of invasive species, behavioral ecologist Catherine de Rivera talks about their effect on coastal the estuaries and how to watch for them on the outer shore.

Jim Rice, head of the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network, will speak on the marine mammals and sea turtles that wash up on our shores, and how to report on them.

There will be a panel discussion on citizen science steered by NAME. The group is organizing a parallel set of activities aimed at educators, with presentations on such topics as making art from plastic debris, edible seaweeds, and making marine science relevant to learners.

On Saturday evening, the conference’s after-party will be combined with a wrap-up party for the recently concluded King Tide Project, through which volunteer photographers document the reach of the winter’s highest tides. Both conference-goers and other interested members of the public will gather at the Rogue Brewer’s on the Bay brewery in South Beach beginning at 5:30 p.m. for food and drink, a display of photos providing a virtual tour of the Coquille River Valley during a king tide by photographer Rena Olson, and a talk on how sea level rise is affecting our coast by Meg Reed, Coastal Shores Specialist with the state’s Department of Land Conservation and Development. This event is free and open to all.

Field trips will dominate the roster on Sunday, March 10.

Look for an estuary walk guided by marine educator Athena Crichton, leaving from the Hatfield Visitor Center at 10 a.m. Also at 10 a.m., Fawn Custer, CoastWatch’s volunteer coordinator, will lead a field trip to the shoreline, during which she will discuss CoastWatch monitoring and citizen science projects, at Otter Rock Marine Reserve (just north of the community of Otter Rock).

For more details about the conference or the CoastWatch program, see the website, https://oregonshores.org/coastwatch.

Conference fees vary, depending on membership in Oregon Shores, CoastWatch, NAME, or general public, with student and other categories as well. To register online, go to this web link. You can also register on the day of the conference. Lodgings in Newport - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours More Newport below:








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