header image

Archive for water quality & conservation

New publication is designed to help teachers conduct meaningful, field-based lessons

Posted by: | May 4, 2017 Comments Off on New publication is designed to help teachers conduct meaningful, field-based lessons |
A new publication from Oregon Sea Grant, “StreamWebs Field and Classroom Watershed Investigation Curriculum,” is designed to help formal and nonformal educators use StreamWebs as a platform to conduct meaningful, field-based, student-driven investigations that continue in the classroom. The desired outcomes are to provide science inquiry-based opportunities for students to work collaboratively in the

field in ways similar to scientists; to understand that science doesn’t only happen in a lab or classroom; to design their own investigative question and research plan; to collect data; to learn how to look for patterns and changes in their data; to make logical conclusions based upon their data; to answer or refine their investigative question and/or research plan; and to understand what the data indicate for their stream over time.

The curriculum is designed for 6th through 9th grade but may be adapted for older or younger grade levels.
 You may download a free PDF of the 42-page publication here.
 Photo: Renee O’Neill teaches students how to collect aquatic insects along the South Santiam River near Sweet Home. (Photo by Vanessa Cholewczynski)
under: ecology, environment, k-12 teachers, kids, marine education, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, publications, water quality, water quality & conservation, watersheds
Tags: , , , ,

New Sea Grant videos demonstrate how to use StreamWebs kits

Posted by: | September 30, 2016 Comments Off on New Sea Grant videos demonstrate how to use StreamWebs kits |

Two new videos from Oregon Sea Grant demonstrate how to collect and identify aquatic insects and test water quality using kits available from StreamWebs.girl-with-dipnet

One of the videos, How to use StreamWebs’ macroinvertebrate kit, shows educators how to teach students to collect and identify aquatic insects using the macroinvertebrate kit and data sheets. The other, How to use StreamWebs’ LaMotte water quality kit, shows how to teach students to test water quality using a kit with equipment made by LaMotte.

The kits are among several that educators can borrow from StreamWebs, a program administered by Oregon Sea Grant. StreamWebs provides educators with field equipment, data sheets, lesson plans and training so they can teach students how to collect data about the health of waterways. It also provides an online database where students can enter and analyze the information they gathered.

Both videos were produced by Oregon Sea Grant’s Renee O’Neill and Vanessa Cholewczynski and shot and edited by Cholewczynski. Special thanks to Angela Clegg with the South Santiam Watershed Council; students from Foster Elementary School in Sweet Home, Oregon; Grayson Johnston; and Zethan Brandenburger.

under: citizen science, ecology, environment, kids, Oregon Sea Grant, science education, videos, water quality, water quality & conservation
Tags: , , , ,

Confluence: Helping the Oregon coast adapt to a changing climate

Posted by: | April 18, 2016 Comments Off on Confluence: Helping the Oregon coast adapt to a changing climate |

The spring/summer issue of our Confluence newsletter is online, with stories about Oregon Sea Grant faculty and funded researchers who are working to understand how a changing climate will affect the region, and what coastal communities can do to adapt.

Shore Acres State Park, Cape Arago

Shore Acres State Park, Cape Arago

This  issue explores:

  • How coastal communities can tap into existing laws to manage their resources on a local level
  • Water conservation and restoration strategies that might mitigate the effects of drought on agriculture, fisheries and recreation
  • What those in the west coast shellfish industry understand about ocean acidification, how it affects their multimillion-dollar industry, and what they can do to adapt
  • The role stakeholders can play in complex research, including a regional assessment of future water availability in the Willamette River basin
  • Computer modeling efforts to predict rising sea levels will affect Oregon’s coastal estuaries

Download the .pdf of Confluence

under: climate, climate adaptation, coastal hazards, Confluence, ocean acidification, publications, sea level rise, water quality & conservation

Willamette Valley water future: Mostly bright, with some gaps

Posted by: | December 4, 2015 Comments Off on Willamette Valley water future: Mostly bright, with some gaps |

Over the next 85 years, temperatures in Oregon’s Willamette River basin are expected to rise significantly, mountain snowpack levels will shrink dramatically, and the population of the region and urban water use may double – but there should be enough water to meet human needs, a new report concludes.

Fish may not be so lucky. Although ample water may be available throughout most of the year, the Willamette Valley and its tributaries likely will become sufficiently warm as to threaten cold-water fish species, including salmon and steelhead, the scientists say.

These are among the key findings of the Willamette Water 2100 Project, a five-year, $4.3 million study funded by the National Science Foundation and led by Oregon State University, in partnership with researchers from the University of Oregon, Portland State University and University of California at Santa Barbara.

Oregon Sea Grant’s Sam Chan, who specializes in watershed health and invasive species, led the “broader impacts” outreach effort for the project.

Learn more

under: climate adaptation, environment, water quality & conservation, watersheds

National Take Back Prescription Day wants your old drugs

Posted by: | September 15, 2015 Comments Off on National Take Back Prescription Day wants your old drugs |

Oregon Sea Grant teams up with the Corvallis Police Department, Corvallis Public Works and the Benton County Heath Department on Sept. 26 to collect your unused, expired and otherwise unwanted pharmaceuticals, free of charge.

Dispose of old medicine on National Prescription Drug Takeback Day

The collection takes place from 10 am to 2 pm at Republic Services, 110 NE Walnut Blvd., Corvallis.

Unused prescription drugs should never be tossed in the trash or flushed down the toilet, experts say, because they can make their way into the waterways with potential harm to animals and plants. And keeping them around can result in accidental poisonings, overdose or theft.

According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, which sponsors the nationwide event, medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to theft, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

“Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and this is a great opportunity for folks around the country to help reduce the threat,” DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said.  “Please clean out your medicine cabinet and make your home safe from drug theft and abuse.”

Research – including studies funded by Oregon Sea Grant – has found evidence that pharmaceuticals leaching into the waterways, possibly from improper disposal, are showing up in the tissues of fish and sea birds with as-yet unknown consequences.

While narcotic prescriptions, such as hydrocodone, oxydodone, and morphine, are the main focus of the nationwide take-back, you can drop off other prescription drugs as well. The only thing not accepted is syringes.

In the previous nine Take-Back events nationwide from 2010-2014, 4,823,251 pounds, or 2,411 tons of drugs were collected, according to the DEA.

under: environment, events, water quality & conservation

Oregon preserves water quality with pump and dump stations

Posted by: | August 22, 2014 Comments Off on Oregon preserves water quality with pump and dump stations |

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

Master Naturalist blogs about coast, nature and the environment

Posted by: | July 22, 2014 Comments Off on Master Naturalist blogs about coast, nature and the environment |

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

Oregon Sea Grant Communications wins three Communicator Awards

Posted by: | April 30, 2014 Comments Off on Oregon Sea Grant Communications wins three Communicator Awards |

Oregon Sea Grant is pleased and proud to announce that its Communications team has won three 2014 Communicator Awards:trophy_gold

1. Award of Excellence for Dump Station PSA, in the Online Video-Public Service Category

2. Award of Distinction for Climate Field Notes: Insights from a NOAA Sea Grant Network Project, in the Publication-Special Edition category

3. Award of Distinction for Oregon Sea Grant Strategic Plan 2014-2107, in the Publication-Overall Design category

According to the Communicator Awards’ website:

The Communicator Awards is the leading international awards program honoring creative excellence for communication professionals. Founded by communication professionals over a decade ago, The Communicator Awards is an annual competition honoring the best in advertising, corporate communications, public relations and identity work for print, video, interactive, and audio. This year’s Communicator Awards received thousands of entries from companies and agencies of all sizes, making it one of the largest awards of its kind in the world.

The Communicator Awards is sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms. Please visit aiva.org for a full member list and more information.

For more information about the Communicator Awards, please visit www.communicatorawards.com.

Congratulations to everyone involved in producing these fine publications and videos!

 

under: awards, climate, ecology, environment, marine education, marine safety, marine science, news, Oregon Sea Grant, outreach and engagement, public communication, publications, research, science communication, videos, water quality & conservation
Tags: , ,

Oregon Sea Grant wins APEX 2013 Award of Excellence

Posted by: | August 7, 2013 Comments Off on Oregon Sea Grant wins APEX 2013 Award of Excellence |

2013_winnerOregon Sea Grant has been awarded the APEX 2013 Award of Excellence in the “One-of-a-Kind Education & Training Publications” category for its work on The Oregon Coast Quests Book, 2013-14.

APEX 2013, the 25th Annual Awards for Publication Excellence, is an international competition that recognizes outstanding publications from newsletters and magazines to annual reports, brochures, and websites.

According to the APEX 2013 judges, “The awards were based on excellence in graphic design, quality of editorial content, and the success of the entry in conveying the message and achieving overall communications effectiveness.” This year’s competition was “exceptionally intense,” drawing 2,400 entries in 12 major categories.

E-13-001 Quests book 2013-14 250Quests are fun and educational clue-directed hunts that encourage exploration of natural areas. In this self-guided activity, Questers follow a map and find a series of clues to reach a hidden box. This edition of the Oregon Coast Quests Book contains 26 Quests in three counties (Lincoln, Coos, and Benton), including six brand-new Quests and one in both English and Spanish.

The Oregon Coast Quests program is coordinated by Oregon Sea Grant Marine Educator Cait Goodwin, who also oversaw production of the book. Oregon Sea Grant Managing Editor Rick Cooper performed the editing and layout.

You can order copies of The Oregon Coast Quests Book here.

under: awards, ecology, environment, free-choice learning, invasive species, kids, marine education, marine science, Northwest history, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, outreach and engagement, people, publications, sustainability, water quality & conservation, watersheds

Boating access advocates to convene in Portland

Posted by: | July 31, 2013 Comments Off on 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.

under: conferences, Extension, Oregon Sea Grant, people, water quality & conservation, waterfronts

Older Posts »

Categories