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Event Opens Up Wowing Mysteries of Sand on Oregon Coast

Published 09/29/22 at 5:44 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Event Opens Up Wowing Mysteries of Sand on Oregon Coast

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(Oregon Coast) – There is nothing more fundamental to the Oregon coast than sand. Humans love the feel of the stuff between their toes, and they may even be worrying about sand if they see it eroding away in one area or another. Yet we as a culture, as a species, don't often think about the substance itself. Sand, it turns out, takes an epic journey to reach these shores of Oregon and Washington. Even more striking: grains of sand are not all alike and indeed are vastly different between areas and different beach environments. (Above: Gleneden Beach. Wonder why the grains of sand here are so different? Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

In comes a fascinating look at the granules that make up the Oregon coast. CoastWatch, the very public arm of the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, invites the world to join online in contemplating a very basic subject to those who love the shore. On Thursday, October 6, at 7 p.m., the group presents a webinar on “Sand.” The event is free and open to everyone.

The virtual guide to the inner life of Oregon coast beaches will be naturalist and ecotour leader Marty Giles, who has spent a long career studying the stuff.

According to Giles:

"We’re all familiar with sand, but what is it? Where does it come from? What does it do while it’s here? Where does it go when it’s done? This presentation answers those questions - and more. Participants will get a broad view of sand, from a sketch of the area’s geologic history to photomicrographs of the life between the grains."

Sand granules can differ wildly between beaches. When viewed under microscopes, each sandy stretch looks different than the rest. They're dictated by their close surroundings, geologically – at least partially.

Marty Giles has been interpreting the Oregon coast for residents and visitors for a few decades now, having started in the '80s.

Pacific City

She has been a naturalist for a variety of agencies, including Oregon State Parks, Oregon State University Extension/Sea Grant, and South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. She holds a Master’s degree in Recreation Resources Development from Texas A&M University, specializing in Environmental Interpretation. Those years of education and professional experience are now applied to Marty's interpretive nature guiding service, Wavecrest Discoveries, which specializes in customized, "mind-refreshing" explorations of Oregon's southern coast that reconnect people with nature. She is also a writer and editor, and maintains a business in that field as well, SharpPoint Writing & Editing.

To register for the webinar, go to WN_4O8QPLrZQ4K-X_pnXOpAcA.

For more information about the event or about CoastWatch, contact Jesse Jones, CoastWatch Volunteer Coordinator, at (503) 989-7244,

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Port Orford area, courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

Cape Blanco, courtesy OPRD


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