This summer I am going to be interning with the Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) located in Cannon Beach. While I was hoping to bear witness to the 250-foot monolith that is Haystack Rock in person, alas the pandemic continues to throw curve balls. My summer project will be done remotely. While I am grateful for my safety at home, this change is certainly an adjustment. However, you know what they say–a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor!
So far, my plans for this summer include conducting a cost-benefit analysis from a few different perspectives. These will include the local government, visitors, business owners, and residents. I am also doing research on the history of the protections at Haystack Rock. The histories will come from both reviewing literature and from oral histories of long-time residents of the area. I will also use this information to create a model for how to implement protection measures, like those at Haystack Rock, in other coastal areas.
I believe the outcome of my project will be useful in spreading awareness on the effects of protected areas. By adding to a growing body of research as well as creating educational materials, I will be furthering HRAP’s mission to protect the delicate marine life at Haystack Rock and educate people about it. This area attracts a large amount of tourists, especially during the summer season. Anywhere from 100-200 people visit a day! It is important that they are knowledgeable while also enjoying the beautiful sites.
I am also looking forward to strengthening the connection between HRAP and the coastal community. I will accomplish this by working closely with partner orgs, communicating with members of the government, and surveying HRAP’s visitors. It will contribute to Oregon Sea Grant’s vision of a thriving coastal community and ecosystem by strengthening the relationship between the two. Today is my fourth official day on the job, and I am just getting started. I am excited to make a meaningful contribution this summer!