Shoreline Education for Awareness, Inc.

Oregon’s Hidden Wonder

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We invite you to join us on Thursday, August 13th at 6:00 PM for a special virtual screening and panel brought to the South-Central Oregon Coast and beyond.

This evening event will feature a screening of Oregon State Productions’ “Heceta Bank: Oregon’s Hidden Wonder” followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.

About: Hidden below the surface, 35 miles offshore from Cape Perpetua, there is a submerged feature that has a huge impact on Oregon’s coastal habitats. This is a story of one of the least known but most important natural features on the West Coast.

REGISTER HERE 

 Panelists:

Jack Barth, Executive Director, Marine Studies Initiative; Professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences-Oregon State University

Bill Pearcy, Professor Emeritus, College of Earth, Ocean, & Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University 

David Baker, Director of Oregon State Productions-Oregon State University

Selina Heppell, Head of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University

Aaron Galloway, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, Coastal Benthic Ecologist – Assistant Professor

Contact MSI for accommodations for disabilities at marinestudies@oregonstate.edu

Event brought to you by Oregon State University’s Marine Studies Initiative, Oregon State Productions, and OSU-Cascades.

Production by Connect Central Oregon, a collaborative program with the OSU-Cascades Innovation Co-Lab.

Marine Studies Initiative|Oregon State University

300 Strand Hall |Corvallis, OR  97331

Phone: 541.737.2780|

marine.studies@oregonstate.edu

Seabed mining and the threats it poses

Environmental horrors have been happening throughout history. But with today’s technology, the degree of environmental devastation has increased astronomically. Read the following articles on Seabed Mining to understand the threat that our ocean floor faces.

Seabed Mining Threatens West Coast

Seafloor mining is basically as bad as it sounds

Capturing Carbon with Underwater Gardening

Maybe you’ve heard about the crisis in kelp worldwide. It has been disappearing at warp speed as climate change and urchin proliferation have destroyed nearly 90% of the world’s kelp forests. Take a look at this article and see what some are doing to offer a solution to this problem.

Capturing Carbon with Underwater Gardening

 

Rigorous Research Lights Our Way

The following comes from Hakai Magazine in Vancouver, BC. It’s reassuring to learn just how rigorous the research is that points us in the right direction for next steps in protecting and preserving our oceans’ marine life.

Ask any environmental scientist about their biggest challenge and many of them will tell you—or at least, many of them have told me—that it’s not always getting the data, it’s processing it. Acousticians scrub through thousands of hours of hydrophone recordings for a few precious seconds of whale song. Oceanographers parse endless temperature and salinity logs from monitoring buoys to find trends. It’s astounding how often science’s rate-limiting step is just dealing with all the information.

The University of British Columbia’s Sea Around Us initiative has just compiled a mind-blowing volume of data on fish stocks around the world. They measured species biomass since 1950 and looked specifically at how much of the fish that people like to eat is actually in the ocean. This scope of study is valuable, and this one draws a pretty clear picture: we’re decimating most of our favorite fish.

The group used computer-based statistical methods to assess over 1,000 populations of 483 fishes and invertebrates humans find delicious and found 82 percent of these populations had dwindled beyond what can support maximum levels of fishing. Some places were worse than others, but with such big data the overall trend is clear.

Next comes the question of policy. Catch limits and protected areas can help stocks recover. Implementing them, however, can be tricky. Sustainable aquaculture can alleviate fishing pressure, too. But whatever comes next, the first step in any solution is getting a clear picture of the problem. Now, there are some good numbers to lean on.

So this week, let’s give a shout-out to the researchers, students, and everyone everywhere crunching numbers and weeding through and making sense of the deluge of information out there. Without them, we’d be far more in the dark about the problems, and solutions, of our world.

Amorina Kingdon
Staff researcher and writer for Hakai Magazine

 

Warming poses threat to fish in spawning or embryonic stages

Article by Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press

Global warming looks like it will be a bigger problem for the world’s fish species than scientists first thought: A new study shows that when fish are spawning or are embryos, they are more vulnerable to hotter water.
With medium-level human-caused climate change expected by the end of the century, the world’s oceans, rivers and lakes will be too hot for about 40% of the world’s fish species in the spawning or embryonic life stages, according to a study in Thursday’s journal Science. That means they could go extinct or be forced to change how and where they live and reproduce.
Until now, biologists had studied just adult fish.
For adult fish, around 2% to 3% of the species would be in the too-hot zone in the year 2100 with similar projected warming. So using this new approach reveals a previously unknown problem for the future of fish, scientists said.
In a worst-case climate change scenario, which some scientists said is increasingly unlikely, the figure for species in trouble jumps to 60%.
These vulnerable times in the life of a fish make this a “bottleneck” in the future health of species, said study co-author Hans-Otto Portner, a marine biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany.
A marine heat wave last year, known as a blob, caused large numbers of migrating salmon to die throughout Alaska’s rivers. It also killed off cod eggs, showing what a warmer future might be like, said study lead author Flemming Dahlke, a marine biologist at the institute.
“With spawning fish and embryos most sensitive to warming waters, it means fish populations won’t be able to replace themselves,” said Rutgers University ecologist Malin Pinsky, who wasn’t part of the study, but praised it. “Without reproduction and offspring, we have no fish, no fishing and no fish on our plates.”
In studying 694 species, Dahlke and Portner found some of the fish likely to be hardest-hit by this phenomenon include Alaska pollock — the biggest fishery in the United States and the source of fast food fillets — and well-known species such as sockeye salmon, brown trout, bonito, barracuda and swordfish.
“The more we allow temperature to change … the more we will lose the natural foundation of human life, including food from the sea,” Portner said.
When it gets too warm for spawning, the species could still possibly move to someplace cooler or spawn at another time, but that’s not easy, Dahlke said.

“This could mean a lot of problems to many species.”

A CALL TO ACTION FOR THE COAST

Here’s a great article calling all of us who live on or visit the Oregon Coast. With budget and staffing cuts due to Covid-19, we can step up and help protect and preserve the coastal places we love and use.

Cleaning up litter is nothing new since we have had a great group of volunteers doing cleanups regularly. But with the pandemic still going strong, it’s a good reminder to those of us out on the beaches regularly to bring a bag with us and pitch in to fill the shortage of staff.

A CALL TO ACTION

Eel Grass: An Aquatic Star in Grays Harbor, WA

If you want to know more about one of the keystone species in our rocky shores habitat, read the following article from Olympia Washington’s Works in Progress newsletter. To me it underscores the fact that there are so many things we can and must do to protect and to restore the environment we depend upon for our futures.

Eel Grass: An Aquatic Star

Bandon’s Black Oystercatcher Project

The Black Oystercatcher is a unique shorebird species that is a conspicuous and charismatic bird of the coast. Because of their small global population size, low reproductive rate, and reliance on rocky intertidal habitats, they are considered a “species of high conservation concern” and act as an indicator of intertidal ecosystem health. Click on the link below to get the full story. This important work could not be done without many volunteers and conscientious visitors to our rocky habitats who know the importance of keeping a respectful distance from all of our marvelous marine life!

Black Oystercatcher Project

READY FOR STATE PARKS?

 

Are you ready to return to Oregon’s wonderful State Parks? Like many of us, you have probably been itching to get out again after having been observing the stay-at-home guidelines we have been living under. You many have questions about our State Parks.

Watch the video below and get lots of answers. Enjoy our parks. Stay safe. Have fun!

Oregon State Parks Message for Reopening

A World Without Salmon

There are so many things going on at once or our planet Earth, and with all of the news media and social networking blasting us every day – 24 hours each day, it’s getting harder to determine what’s real, what’s important, and what we can allow into our crowded schedules and minds.

Keeping all this in mind, I want to encourage you to read the following excerpt from Mark Kurlansky’s book, Salmon: A Fish, the Earth, and the History of their Common Fate. Perhaps you will agree that the history Mr. Kurlansky presents is more than merely interesting. It is critical to all living on Earth.

A World Without Salmon