What’s fresh on the Oregon coast?

Fresh seafood at Local Ocean in NewportWondering what seafood will be in season when you visit the Oregon coast? Oregon Sea Grant’s Kaety Hildenbrand has compiled a handy, one-page guide to local seafood availability for 2011, based on  harvest estimates and commercial seasons set by fisheries regulators.

Right now, for instance, you should be able to find fresh, locally caught Chinook salmon, Dungeness crab and pink shrimp, as well as  flounder, sole, rockfish and lingcod (generally available year-round).

June should bring the appearance of albacore tuna and, late in the month, Pacific halibut, depending on when the fish make their appearance.

Fresh, locally caught seafood is available in markets and restaurants up and down the coast, and direct from the fishermen in many coastal ports. A family trip to the docks with an ice-filled cooler can be a great way to learn more about where your dinner comes from, how it’s harvested and the people who catch it.

The guide, “What’s Fresh and When in 2011” is ready to download and print, and suitable for hanging on the refrigerator door or tucking in the glove compartment for your next trip to the coast. Download it here in .pdf format.

Hildenbrand is Sea Grant’s Extension marine fisheries educator, based in Newport, where she engages the fishing community and general public on issues ranging from fisheries management to marine energy and multiple ocean uses.

Oregon Sea Grant has reduced the price of one of its most popular DVDs

We’ve reduced the price of one of our most popular DVDs. The Watersheds and Salmon Collection DVD is now priced at $12.95 (was $29.95) plus shipping and handling. It contains the following four videos:

Life Cycle of the Salmon (5 minutes)
Governor Kitzhaber Interview (9 minutes)
The Return of the Salmon (33 minutes)
Salmon: Why Bother? (12 minutes)

You may purchase Watersheds and Salmon Collection DVD online from Oregon Sea Grant.

Tsunami structure gets its test – in miniature

Cannon Beach wave modelOfficials from the coastal Oregon town of Cannon Beach visited Oregon State University’s Hinsdale Wave Research Center this week to get a first-hand look at how a proposed new city hall and tsunami survival center might work.

Researcher Dan Cox showed off a scale model of the structure – and all of downtown Cannon Beach – and then pounded it with scale-model waves in one of the Hinsdale Center’s massive wave-generating tanks.

Cannon Beach is one of many coastal communities trying to come up with plans to save lives and property should the Oregon Coast be struck by a tsunami. Scientists say it’s not a matter of “if,” but “when” – and recent studies suggest that the region is overdue.

Along with warning systems, evacuation routes and public education, Cannon Beach is hoping to get federal funds to build a new, $4 million city hall that would stand on 15-foot-high tsunami-resistant pilings and provide safe refuge for people unable to evacuate the downtown area. Their hope is that by putting city services in a building that can survive a tsunami, they would be better prepared to manage the emergency response to such a disaster.

It would be the first such structure in the United States; the Japanese have built similar structures, but none has yet been tested in an actual tsunami.

Accompanying the Cannon Beach delegation to OSU was Patrick Corcoran, Oregon Sea Grant’s coastal hazards specialist, who has been working with coastal communities to help them develop and improve tsunami disaster planning.

“Every community from Cape Mendocino in California to Vancouver Island in Canada is vulnerable to some extent to the Cascadia subduction zone earthquake and tsunamis,” said  Corcoran, “This is arguably the greatest recurring natural hazard in the lower 48 states. Our cities are not engineered to deal with it and our residents are not prepared for it. We need evacuation routes, assembly sites, public education and outreach. And in some places, we need vertical evacuation structures. The only way to potentially save thousands of lives is through more education and better engineering.”

Sea Grant has supported a number of research projects at the Hinsdale Center, including a current effort by civil engineering professor Dr. Harry Yeh to better understand how the shape of the seafloor immediately offshore can amplify the effects of big waves on specific communities.

Celilo Falls in Newport, Monday, May 11

The educational documentary, Celilo Falls and the Remaking of the Columbia River, by Joe Cone of Oregon Sea Grant, will be shown at the Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitors Center auditorium, Monday, May 11, 6-7 p.m. The half-hour film will be introduced by Cone, and discussion will follow the screening. The award-winning film, previously aired on Oregon Public Broadcasting, is part of the 2009 Water Film Series, Newport Edition. Watch a short preview.

Salmon resilience featured in online journal

Corvallis, Ore – Is there anything really new to be said about the prospects for salmon in the Pacific Northwest? Yes, says a group of experts, including several from Oregon State University (OSU); their new perspectives are collected in a special feature issue of the online journal Ecology and Society .

The special feature issue is titled “Pathways to Resilient Salmon Ecosystems”; access to the journal is free and open to the public.

Scientists, politicians, pundits and the public have been discussing the future of salmon since at least the 1870s, said Dan Bottom, an editor of the special issue and both a research fisheries biologist for NOAA Fisheries and courtesy faculty in the OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

(