Boating access advocates to convene in Portland

Marina, Coos BayPORTLAND – “New Dimensions in Boating Access,” the national conference of the States Organization for Boating Access, comes to Portland Sept. 30-Oct. 3, bringing speakers and workshops on topics ranging from reducing conflicts between public boating access and commercialk shipping to the implications of sea level rise on recreational boating.

Registration is open now, at a significant discount for those who register by Aug. 30.

SOBA is a nonprofit organization that advocates for recreational boating; its membership is drawn from state and territorial agencies, boating groups, consulting firms and boating-related businesses. The annual conference brings members together to discuss issues related to recreational boating access, technology, and environmental/legislative issues.

Among the speakers at this year’s conference are Oregon Sea Grant Extension specialists Sam Chan, discussing invasive species; Megan Kleibacker, talking about Oregon’s implementation of the Clean Vessel Act; and Jamie Doyle, with updates on the National Working Waterfronts Network.

OSU secures critical funding to continue ocean acidification research

Oregon State University will receive funds that will help the West Coast’s shellfish industry in its fight against ocean acidification, thanks largely to the efforts of Oregon state Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose). Receipt of these funds will give a critical boost to Oregon State University’s and the shellfish industry’s efforts to reduce the negative impacts of ocean acidification on shellfish production.

House Bill 5008 allocated $250,000 to Oregon State University. A portion of the funds will be used to continue OSU’s efforts to improve the resilience of oyster to ocean acidification through its selective breeding program at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. The remaining funds will be dedicated to OSU’s collaboration with industry leaders at the Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery (see “The Whiskey Creek Shellfish Acid Tests” in the current issue of Confluence) on Netarts Bay as they continue to identify better ways to manage the negative effects of ocean acidification on shellfish larvae.

You can read the rest of this story here.

Join Oregon Sea Grant at da Vinci Days!

Join Oregon Sea Grant at da Vinci Days this Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21, on Oregon State University’s lower campus in Corvallis, Oregon. Discover interesting biofacts about the diverse life forms found on our beaches; meet some of our undergraduate Summer Scholars and hear about their projects; find out how invasive species impact our aquatic ecosystems; and learn more about Oregon Sea Grant’s integrated research, education, and public engagement on ocean and coastal issues. There is something for everyone at this family-friendly event!

How to feed a giant Pacific octopus

Ever wonder how to feed an octopus? Well, now you can find out–by watching How to Feed a Giant Pacific Octopus, a video produced by Oregon Sea Grant for NOAA’s Ocean Today kiosk.

The three-minute video features a very hungry Reuben the Octopus, along with Bill Hanshumaker, Oregon Sea Grant’s marine public education specialist at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon.

How to Feed a Giant Pacific Octopus

Summer issue of Confluence magazine now online

The summer 2013 issue of Oregon Sea Grant’s magazine, Confluence, is now online at

Articles in this issue, which focuses on aquaculture in Oregon, include “The Whiskey Creek Shellfish Acid Tests,” “Priced out of our own seafood,” and “The traveling ornamental defender.”

Millions of dead krill found on Oregon beaches

Bill Peterson, an oceanographer with the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Newport, Ore., says millions of dead North Pacific krill have washed ashore recently between Newport and Eureka, Calif. He says it’s the largest die-off he can recall in recent history.Krill

North Pacific krill primarily live on the eastern side of the Pacific, between southern California and southern Alaska. They’re typically found along the continental shelf, Peterson says. The shrimp-like crustaceans are an important source of food for salmon and other species of fish, birds and marine mammals.

Joe Tyburczy, a researcher with the California Sea Grant Extension office and a former Oregon Sea Grant Knauss Fellow, says the culprit could be hypoxia. Indeed, oceanographic cruises along the northern California coast found lower oxygen levels than usually seen in Pacific Northwest waters. “If it is hypoxia, there’s a possibility of implications for other species like crab,” Tyburczy says.

Another possibility, Peterson says, is that the shrimp were victims of unfriendly weather conditions during their mating cycle, and were driven to shore by high winds.

For the moment, Peterson and Tyburczy are asking that the public keep them informed of any more dead krill sightings. Peterson can be reached at 541-867-0201; Tyburczy at 707-443-8369.