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In Oregon, the beaches belong to the people. As part of Oregon's tradition of environmental stewardship, the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition serves as the guardian of the public interest for our coastal region. Oregon Shores is dedicated to preserving the natural communities, ecosystems and landscapes of the Oregon coast while conserving the public's access.  Oregon Shores pursues these ends through education, advocacy, and engaging citizens to keep watch over and defend the Oregon coast.
 Marine Debris Monitoring Project Underway
Float carrying non-native mussels. Photo by Charlie Plybon.
The recent upsurge of marine debris on Oregon’s shoreline, much of it from the Japanese tsunami and some of it bearing potentially invasive organisms, is a reminder of the continued importance of monitoring for marine debris and cleaning it up.
CoastWatch has been working with four partner groups as the Oregon Marine Debris (OMDT) team to address the debris problem. This involves scouting the shoreline for debris and organizing cleanups. It also involves a citizen science project, through which teams of volunteers survey sites on a regular basis and develop data about the amounts and types of debris washing up on our coast.
Fawn Custer, our CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, is heading up this effort on behalf of the OMDT. Our goal is to organize teams to conduct monthly surveys at 11 sites. Thanks to funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), made available through Oregon Sea Grant (one of our OMDT partners), we can offer $500 “community grants” to assist these teams in purchasing equipment and covering transportation costs. The teams commit to regular surveys using a formal NOAA protocol. We provide training and support.
We already have teams working at a number of sites, but help is needed in several areas. Our highest priority is to establish a team in the vicinity of Cascade Head (site of one of Oregon’s new marine reserves). This would be somewhere between Lincoln City and the mouth of the Nestucca. Fawn is also looking for volunteers to join a team in Coos County, with a site to be located between Charleston and Bullards Beach. A third priority is to find reinforcements for the Redfish Rocks Community Team, which has been doing great work in monitoring a site south of Port Orford but needs some fresh energy. Several CoastWatchers seeking to organize a survey for the Fort Stevens area in northern Clatsop County could also use help. We could use help from individuals or groups.
Additional volunteers are always welcome to join the ranks of any of the existing teams, including three in Clatsop County, two in Lincoln County and one each in Douglas and Curry counties. No prior experience is necessary. Training and support will be provided by the Oregon Marine Debris Team (OMDT), a partnership among four non-profit organizations—CoastWatch, Surfrider, SOLVE, Washed Ashore—plus Oregon Sea Grant and with the cooperation of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
For information or to volunteer, contact Fawn Custer: via email, (541) 270-0027. Or go to the OMDT website, click here. Contact Fawn also if you would be willing to help scout any stretch of the Oregon shoreline for marine debris on a regular basis.

 Help Wanted: Volunteers to Work on This Website
Looking for a way to get more involved with Oregon Shores and help us advance the cause of coastal conservation? If you have computer skills to offer, we need one or more volunteers to help keep our website up to date. This would involve learning to use the editing tools that are built into the website, then occasionally receiving information by email (article information, photos, links to ... MORE 
 Oregon Shores Adds Ocean Policy Advocate
Robin Hartmann on her CoastWatch mile.
We’re happy to announce that Robin Hartmann, who served for 10 years as our Ocean Program director, has returned to Oregon Shores in a new role, as Ocean Policy Advocate.
In this position, she will represent the coastal conservation community on the state’s Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC). She will also advise the Oregon Shores board and staff on ocean policy matters and will assist us in educating our members and the larger public about marine conservation issues.
Robin, first as an Oregon Shores board member and then as Ocean Program director, played a key role in the long campaign that led to the creation of Oregon’s new system of marine reserves. She served both on the steering committee of the Our Ocean coalition which worked for the creation of marine reserves and other marine protected area, and on OPAC. She also successfully advocated for a new chapter to Oregon’s Territorial Sea Plan which guides the siting and monitoring of future marine renewable energy projects. After taking a six-month hiatus once the new policies were in place, she returns in a new role, focused on helping to steer Oregon (and Oregon Shores) toward successful implementation and management of our marine reserves. Her current work with Oregon Shores is made possible by a grant from the Lazar Foundation.
Robin is a consultant with expertise in project management, communications and government affairs as they relate to natural resources management. She has been involved in natural resource policy advocacy since working for Idaho Congressman Larry LaRocco in the 1990s, where she served as his natural resources legislative assistant.
Much of her work has involved bringing together diverse stakeholders seeking opportunities to improve outcomes for the environment as well as for rural communities and the people who live there. She has worked on projects to give voice to citizen concerns about development proposals including gas pipelines, high-power transmission lines, hydropower dams and LNG terminals (another key Oregon Shores issue). She currently serves on the boards of Oregon League of Conservation Voters and the Oregon Wave Energy Trust.
Contact: Phillip Johnson, Executive Director, (503) 754-9303, or EMAIL

 State Parks Commission Supports Land Exchange
Despite Oregon Shores’ arguments that the decision would set a dangerous precedent, the Parks and Recreation Commission voted on April 9 to accept the proposed land exchange between the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Bandon Biota, the development arm of the Bandon Dunes golf complex. Oregon Shores' Land Use program continues to monitor the exchange carefully as it goes through the ... MORE