header image

New Videos: Derelict Fishing Gear: Oregon fishermen interviews

Posted by: | August 28, 2014 Comments Off |

Extended interviews are now online with two Oregon fishermen, Al Pazar and Nick Furman, who reflect on derelict gear programs with the Dungeness crab fleet in which they were directly involved.

The interviews are in high definition at the Oregon Sea Grant Vimeo channel:

Al Pazar, former chairman, Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission

Nick Furman, former Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission exec. director

The videos were produced by Oregon Sea Grant in cooperation with NOAA West, the NOAA Marine Debris Program, and the Sea Grant programs of Washington, California, and the University of Southern California.

under: Oregon Sea Grant

Marine debris – trash, refuse, stuff lost at sea — can often seem like a problem that’s difficult to make headway against. New short videos produced by Oregon Sea Grant can change that impression.

Responding to the Risks of Marine Debris: Derelict Fishing Gear, highlights the dramatic success that the Washington-based Northwest Straits Foundation has had in removing lost commercial fishing nets in the Puget Sound vicinity.

The six-minute documentary-style video is online at the Oregon Sea Grant YouTube channel (where closed captioning is also available):

Oregon Sea Grant Presents: Derelict Fishing Gear

. . . and in  high definition on Vimeo:  Derelict Fishing Gear (Vimeo HD version)

The documentary was produced by Oregon Sea Grant in cooperation with NOAA West, the NOAA Marine Debris program, and the Sea Grant programs of Washington, California, and the University of Southern California.

Stay tuned for additional videos in coming days.

under: Oregon Sea Grant
Tags: , , , , ,

Dark Horse releases new comic about earthquake preparedness

Posted by: | August 26, 2014 Comments Off |

Without Warning comic coverDark Horse Comics, the Oregon-based publisher of such iconic titles as Star Wars, Sin City and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has teamed with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and the Cascadia Region Earthquake  Group to produce a new, free comic about earthquake preparedness.

Without Warning tells the story of a girl who lives on the Oregon Coast and is trying to reunite with her family after a major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. The digital version of the 16-page, full-color comic, written for audiences age 12 and up, can be downloaded free from Dark Horse; free printed copies are available from the Office of Emergency Management.

Oregon is located in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a 600 hundred mile earthquake fault stretching from offshore Northern California to Southern British Columbia. Experts predict a large 9.0 or higher earthquake could strike Oregon at any time. Oregon Sea Grant, through its coastal natural hazards program, works to help coastal towns and residents prepare for the Big One.

Learn more:

under: earthquake, tsunami

The Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) has enlisted the help of Oregon Sea Grant to help publicize floating restrooms and waste dumping stations across the state in an effort to protect water quality.

Boaters that are on the water for long periods of time accumulate sewage that they inevitably have to dispose of. In some areas, that waste has found its way back into the environment and caused a decline in water quality.

“Oregon is being proactive,” said Megan Kleibacker, watershed education coordinator for Oregon Sea Grant. “This money was available federally, we applied for it, and we are able to bring a heightened level of awareness to boaters before it became an issue.”

Pump and Dump Station

The pump and dump stations sit together like a washer and dryer set. These waste systems are helping protect the water quality of lakes and rivers throughout Oregon (Photo by Jeffrey Basinger).

Pump stations provide a way for boats with onboard holding tanks to drain their waste into sewers rather than the environment. Dump stations, on the other hand, are for boaters with a porta-potty setup that can be emptied. Together, Kleibacker says the pump and dump machines look like a washer and dryer next to the water.

OSMB was awarded money through the Clean Vessel Act to install these pump and dump stations along with floating restrooms for various bodies of water across the state. Following a successful invasive species partnership with Oregon Sea Grant, OSMB recruited the agency to help publicize the underutilized services.

The campaign is using short, clever videos produced by OSG to make boaters aware of the problem without pointing fingers. Each video is less than one minute, and features a sailor’s voice using entertaining phrases such as, “any skipper worth his salt.”

“What we’ve found is that boaters want to be a steward of clean water,” said Kleibacker. “They love boating and they want their water and their experience out there to be as clean and as nice as possible.”

Kleibacker and her team found that the most effective communication was the simplest: signage. Through focus groups, interviews, and conversations, they have developed effective signs and informational materials that are now placed around the sites.

Sea Grant has shared the results with both OSMB and other states involved in the grant funding. Three of those states have adopted the signage developed here, which Kleibacker says makes her feel like she is making a difference.

“We don’t have a lot of programs that are currently reaching out to recreational boaters, and I think that is such a heavy use group along the Oregon coast that it is a really important relationship for Sea Grant to have,” Kleibacker said.

Next summer, Kleibacker hopes to hire interns to help maintain that relationship. These students would spend the summer visiting the coastal sites to check on the facilities and talk with boaters and marine operators and staff about the program.

The pump and dump and floating restroom videos will soon be displayed on both the Oregon Sea Grant and OSMB websites. Until then, watch them – and share – on YouTube:

You can find a map of where to find pump and dump stations, along with floating restrooms at: http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/pages/access/access.aspx#Where_to_Launch_in_Oregon

under: environment, Oregon Sea Grant, outreach and engagement, public communication, recreational boating, summer activities, videos, water quality & conservation

Comments on Oregon Sea Grant sought

Posted by: | August 15, 2014 Comments Off |

Oregon Sea Grant will be reviewed on Sept. 23-24, 2014 by a Site Review Team convened by the Director of the National Sea Grant College Program. Those associated or familiar with Oregon Sea Grant are invited to provide the review team with comments on any aspect of the program or its work up to one week prior to the review (no later than Sept. 16). You may submit written comments to oar.sg.feedback@noaa.gov

Additional information on the Oregon Sea Grant program can be found at http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/

under: Oregon Sea Grant

Learn to safely can fresh-caught tuna

Posted by: | August 4, 2014 Comments Off |

Fresh-caught tunaNEWPORT – Tuna are abundant and available on the Oregon coast at the best prices of the year – so now’s a great time to learn how to safely can your own tuna at home.

Sea Grant Extension’s seafood product development specialist Mark Whitham and Ruby Moon, fishery Extension agent, will lead a workshop in home-canning tuna on Friday, Sept. 12 at Newport’s First Presbyterian Church, 227 NE 12th Street, from 9 am to 3 pm.

Participants will learn to safely and successfully can tuna, and the skills to do it all at home. Participants will also leave with the jars of tuna they can during the workshop.

Registration is $40 per person and space is limited; register by Sept. 1 with the Lincoln County Extension Office, 29 SE 2nd Street, Newport or by calling 541-574-6534.

Learn more:

under: courses, classes and workshops, events, seafood, Seafood preparation, seafood safety

Sea Star in advanced stage of SSWSNEWPORT – The rapid loss of sea stars along the US west coast may be caused in part by environmental changes, and not solely by a specific pathogen as many had previously thought.

This new hypothesis emerged from a recent symposium on sea star wasting syndrome (SSWS) hosted at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center. Oregon Sea Grant enlisted the Center’s support to bring together 40 top researchers from as far north as Alaska and as far south as Santa Barbara, California. The goal was to clarify the science and develop recommendations for further research, monitoring and possible responses to SSWS.

“I think we can all agree that this is one of the biggest epidemics ever in the ocean in terms of range and the number of species,” said Drew Harvell, a researcher from Cornell who is on sabbatical at Friday Harbor Labs in Washington.

SSWS is the name for a series of symptoms exhibited as a sea star “wastes” away and ultimately dies. Other outbreaks have been observed in the 1970s and 1990s, but despite similar symptoms there are some key differences. The current outbreak—which began in 2013—continued throughout the winter, which has never before been observed, in addition to occurring on a much larger geographic scale.

Through the symposium, researchers from different fields—ecologists, pathologists, veterinarians, and more—joined forces to piece together what is known about the disappearing stars. New evidence has failed to show consistent signs of either bacterial or viral infections, leading scientists to question whether a single pathogen is the culprit. In addition, they noticed correlations between warmer average water temperatures and the syndrome’s appearance.

“Increases in temperature lead to a cascade of oceanographic changes, ultimately leading to lower pH,” said Bruce Menge, an OSU researcher who studies the intertidal zone.

Under this hypothesis, the lower pH would deteriorate the protective outer layers of the sea star. The stars would then struggle to balance their internal concentration of salt and water and would slowly waste away. The increased acidity could also cause calcified bone-like support structures—called ossicles—to erode once exposed.

A similar idea is that the warming temperatures and lower pH could stress the animal and weaken its immune system. After that, any number of pathogens could be responsible for causing the animals to waste and die.

“It’s possible that sea stars only have a limited suite of ways to show they are stressed,” said Mike Murray, a veterinarian from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

A number of ocean conditions – upwelling, for instance – can cause pockets of warmer or cooler water. This variation could explain why a few areas of the west coast have thus far escaped the outbreaks for the most part.

Symposium participants agreed that the exact cause of the outbreak remains a mystery. While environmental drivers are getting new attention, the idea of an infectious disease is still prominent. Harvell and her colleagues are working to identify exactly which pathogen could cause SSWS. All of these potential hypotheses provide testable research questions for future studies.

Going forward, attendees are writing group documents to summarize both what is known and what further actions need to be taken to investigate these and other hypotheses. The papers are expected to be completed in August, and to include suggestions for how to best locate and compare existing environmental data, in addition to encouraging more directed monitoring.

Learn more

To find out more about SSWS, or to get involved in the monitoring, visit these sites with information on citizen science programs near you:

__________________________________

Sea Star Wasting Syndrome Timeline:

  • 1976-79: A devastating SSWS event took out large numbers of sea stars along the west coast. It was believed to be a bacterial event due to the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment.
  • 1983-84: SSWS was found in areas with warmer waters as a result of an intense El Nino event. The outbreak spread to other echinoderms  such as sea urchins. Cold winter temperatures halted the spread.
  • 1997-98: Another round of SSWS hit, also spurred by an intense El Nino, but subsided in the winter like previous events.
  • June 2013: The current bout of SSWS was discovered in Olympic National Park in Washington.
  • October/November 2013: Sea stars began dying in large numbers in Monterey, CA.
  • December 2013: SSWS was detected at sites ranging from Alaska to San Diego. Oregon seemed immune at this point for unknown reasons.
  • January 2014: Despite the fact that previous SSWS events subsided during the winter,  the current outbreak continued to spread, especially in southern California.
  • April 2014: While SSWS spread widely along the California and Washington coasts, less than 1% of Oregon stars exhibited signs of the disease.
  • May 2014: About halfway through the month, the percentage of stars exhibiting SSWS skyrocketed in Oregon to between 40 and 60 percent of the populations surveyed.
  • June 2014: Researchers convened at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, OR, to discuss what is known and what should be done about SSWS.
under: climate, conferences, ecology, environment, marine animals, Oregon State University, research

Wetland, by Jane WilsonJane Wilson is a licensed K-8 teacher, an outdoor enthusiast, and a graduate of Oregon State University’s Oregon Master Naturalist certification program who blogs her thoughts and photographs – about coastal Oregon and the North Coast in particular.

In the introduction to her blog, Wilson writes:

“My commitment to learning how to better observe, interpret, and share information about the natural sciences associated with dynamic earth is heart-felt. Inspiration comes from eagerness to nurture a sense of wonder about the natural world. I’d like to be an advocate who supports others in defining their own connections with nature, understanding why those connections are important, and … in the process, becoming nature literate.”

Check out her observations, adventures and photographs about nature and our place in it at Just Another Nature Enthusiast.

Learn more:

  • OSU’s Oregon Master Naturalist program, a collaborative training program presented by OSU Extension with funding from Oregon Sea Grant Extension, Forestry & Natural Resources Extension and Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources Extension, and by participants’ enrollment fees.
under: courses, classes and workshops, ecology, environment, Extension, marine education, Northwest history, Oregon Sea Grant, water quality & conservation, watersheds

Shop at the Dock takes mystery out of seafood buying

Posted by: | July 9, 2014 Comments Off |

NEWPORT – With summer at its peak, so is the craving for fresh, local seafood – but first-time buyers sometimes have questions about purchasing directly from local fishermen.

Enter Oregon Sea Grant’s Fishery Extension Agent, Ruby Moon, who will provide four free, guided “Shop at the Dock” seafood-buying tours this month from the commercial fishing docks in Newport.

Tours start at noon on July 11, 19, 24 and 30 at the entrance of Port Dock 5 on the Newport bayfront. Buyers should bring:

  • An ice chest filled with ice
  • Cash for purchasing seafood
  • Their questions about direct market vessels and choosing and buying fresh seafood.

Learn more:

under: crab, Extension, fisheries, fishermen, seafood, summer activities, waterfronts

Teacher workshops on coastal STEM education

Posted by: | June 19, 2014 Comments Off |

Oregon Sea Grant and the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME) invite classroom teachers to the Oregon Coast for two in-depth, hands-on workshops exploring the practice of science in a diversity of coastal habitats, designed to equip them with “best practices” in coastal and marine STEM education.

Topics for the workshops, which are sponsored by the Oregon Coast Education Project and take place in June, July and August in Newport and Charleston, include coastal ecology and habitats, impacts and solutions including climate connections, working with data sets and making connections to their own schools.

Registration, which covers the three-day workshops, lodging, meals and materials, is through  NAME, whose current members receive a discount on registration fees. Continuing education credits are available through Portland State University.

A workshop for 3d-8th grade classroom educators takes place in Newport, June30-July 2; the workshop for 6th-12th-grade educators is scheduled for Charleston Aug. 13-15.

Registration includes post-workshop support from OCEP staff as teachers develop and implement coastal education plans during the 2014-15 school year. Teachers who opt to implement such plans are required to complete an evaluation and will receive a stipend at the conclusion of the school year. CEP will also hold small, regional group work sessions during the school year for workshop participants to help integrate other teaching partners who were unable to attend a summer session.

Registration may be completed at the NAME Website.

Learn more:

 

 

under: courses, classes and workshops, marine education, STEM education

Older Posts »

Categories