National Ocean Council to meet in Portland July 1

PORTLAND, OR – Members of the National Ocean Council will convene at Portland State University on July 1 for the last stop in their “regional listening sessions” tour of the US.

Experts from the Council’s 27 Federal agencies and offices have been busy drafting strategic action plans to achieve nine national priority objectives that address some of the most pressing challenges facing our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes.  Having already received solicited and received initial comments on the plans, the council is asking for citizen comments on the strategic action plan outlines they have developed.

The Portland stop is the last of a dozen public listening sessions designed to gather further comments on the plans while they are still in the draft stage. The session will take place at PSU’s University Place, 310 SW Lincoln Street.

The PSU meeting, which will be chaired by NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco, runs from 9-11 am on July 1; those interested in attending are asked to preregister online.

The current strategic action plan drafts, covering priority areas from marine spatial planning to regional ecosystem protection and restoration, can be read at


Campground education helps slow spread of invasives via firewood

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon Sea Grant researchers have found that a focused education and outreach campaign targeted at something most people can easily relate to – campfires and the firewood burned in campgrounds – contributes to behavioral changes to slow the spread of invasive species.

The study, the first of its kind in the U.S., was part of a two-year campaign led by invasive species councils in Oregon, Idaho and Washington to encourage people not to transport firewood.

Many insects and diseases that threaten natural resources in the Pacific Northwest can lie dormant, on or in firewood for up to two years, and researchers discovered that some firewood sold or brought to Oregon originated from as far away as the East Coast of the U.S., New Zealand and Russia.

Before the study started, entomologists associated with the project found 20 specimens of live invasive species in just six bundles of firewood purchased at grocery stores.

The study assessed the effectiveness of the educational campaign, as well as how much campers know about firewood as a vector of invasive species, the sources of firewood transported to campgrounds, and how campers can play a role in slowing the spread of invasive species.

“We wanted something that would clearly represent the problem, and we felt that firewood is so iconic that using it as an educational tool would help people better understand that humans are vectors of invasive species,” said Sam Chan, Sea Grant’s invasive species and watershed health specialist at Oregon State University. “Campers transporting firewood across borders and ecosystems can unknowingly spread invasive species.”

Read more at OSU News & Research Communications