Off to a Great Start!

My first full week in Bandon began with a surprise visit from my beloved school’s mascot!  After setting eyes on this gorgeous gastropod, I knew it was going to be a good week…


After a full week in the office I think I’m starting to get a better handle on what it is I will be helping Wild Rivers Coast Alliance with in the next ten weeks.  For the past week and a half my main priority has been to create a master database that details what activities, lodging, restaurants, shops, and places to visit, are available to tourists in each of the four cities that WRCA works with (Bandon, Brookings, Gold Beach, and Port Orford.)  Thus far what I have learned from my research is that while each city advertises many places to stay and eat, most of the four towns are seriously lacking when it comes down to detailing what there is to do (i.e. such as whale watching, hiking, and kayaking).  In the end, all the information I have been collecting will eventually be input into Travel Oregon’s website.  To me this is particularly exciting because I want to reinforce the knowledge out there that one of the main reasons people should visit Oregon is to take advantage of the astounding environment!  My hope is that by strengthening the information that’s out there about activities to do in nature, each city will be able to not only increase their sustainable ecotourism, but educate locals and tourists alike about each particular habitat, species, and conservation issue relevant to the coast.

In the coming week I believe I will be meeting with some city officials from the representative four cities to fine tune the information I have collected, as well as determine what the best way is to implement any desired changes.  I also plan on continuing my research on what South Coast Oregon’s presence is in facebook, twitter, and smartphone applications; because we live in a society that is so driven by technology and instant access to information I believe this is a great chance to captivate and educate!


This past weekend we had, without doubt, the best weather since I’ve been here!  So with warm weather, sunny skies, and some visiting friends I set out again to explore Oregon’s charismatic South Coast.  Since my position as a coastal tourism intern requires me to research what the towns of Bandon, Brookings, Port Orford, and Gold Beach have to offer (such as various activities, restaurants, etc.) I have decided that I should probably experience them myself; after all, why should I expect other people to be interested in all these places if I myself haven’t even been to them?

My day began at the Bandon Baking Company and Deli, which had cinnamon rolls that looked so appetizing I think I actually started to drool… The Baking Company is a cute place that’s the perfect stop for some morning coffee and a delicious homemade pastry.  After breakfast my friend and I traveled a short distance down the 101 to the West Coast Game Safari Park, an awesome place for people of all ages to not only have close encounters with exotic animals that they would otherwise probably only see in pictures, but to learn about them as well.  We spent the afternoon petting and learning about animals such as the lynx and white tiger, and wishing that we had our own pet Wallaby.


After we had our fill of cute furry animals and loud annoying peacocks, we headed back to Bandon for some smoothies from the Bandon Cofe Cafe which has quite an impressive menu including sandwiches, a variety of coffee drinks, and homemade pie (not to mention free WiFi!).  While it’s fun exploring, on a hot summer day there really isn’t anything better than relaxing on the beach and exploring the intertidal.  We weren’t the only ones taking advantage of the lovely weather, and saw both locals and visitors surfing, beach-combing, tide-pooling, and birdwatching. We ended our tough day of exploring with some delicious seafood at Tony’s Crab Shack!  This is an awesome place to sit outside, enjoy the beautiful weather and view, and enjoy some fresh seafood.


This week will be a short one since the 4th of July in on Thursday.  While I will not be spending it in Bandon, my weekend will still be spent exploring Oregon’s coastline, but this time I’ll be in Seaside.  Stay tuned for more updates on my adventures and progress with Wild Rivers Coast Alliance!

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About Catherine Courtier

Hey guys! My name is Catherine Courtier, I am 22 years old and have recently graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz with a bachelors of science in Marine Biology. After my internship with Oregon Sea Grant, I plan on taking a year off to gain more experience in my field, and look into graduate schools with the eventual goal of getting my PhD. While I am unsure what I want to concentrate my future studies on, I'm having a great time figuring it out and taking advantage of opportunities on the way! For the past two summers I have participated in fields programs in Bahía de los Ángeles studying the marine biology of the Sea of Cortez. More recently I had the opportunity to spend a quarter island hopping in Thailand studying the marine and coastal ecology of the Indo-Pacific. My current interests include marine conservation and anything without a skeletal system (plus rays and whale sharks). I feel so honored to be given this opportunity by Oregon Sea Grant to work with the members of the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance in Bandon Oregon! Stay tuned for updates of my adventures :)

3 thoughts on “Off to a Great Start!

  1. Great idea to use yourself and your own experiences as a test-bed for south OR Coast activities. How do you decide which activities you’re most interested in doing?

  2. Sarah,

    With all the on-line and print research I’ve been doing I’ve come across many things that have peaked my curiosity. Outside of that I’ve just been taking suggestions from friends and co-workers!

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