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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.
 Changing of the Guard as New Board Members and Officers Chosen
New Oregon Shores President Ron Steffens takes a selfie on the shore.
New Oregon Shores President Ron Steffens takes a selfie on the shore.Oregon Shores packed Lincoln City’s The Eventuary last Saturday, with more than 85 coastal conservation supporters present at the peak for our annual membership meeting. The crowd heard oceanographer Bill Peterson explain major shifts we are seeing in ocean currents and temperatures and their consequences, and marine ecologist Chenchen Shen bring us up to date on current research taking place on our rocky shores.
First, though, the membership conducted a brief but important bit of business: electing board members. The two “new” board members are already familiar faces. Both Bob Bailey and Noah Winchester were appointed to the board during the past year, and were now standing for election to full terms. (The Oregon Shores board has the power to fill seats on an interim basis between annual meetings.) Both Bailey, recently retired head of Oregon’s Coastal Management Program, and Winchester, an environmental attorney as well as an engineer and surfer, bring highly relevant skills to the board’s mix. Graham Klag was also re-elected to a new term; Klag is the education coordinator for the Salmon Drift Creek Watershed Council, and in that capacity works with CoastWatch Volunteer Coordinator Fawn Custer on developing citizen science projects.
Oregon Shores also said farewell to two board members stepping down: Pat Wolter and Corrina Chase. Wolter is retiring from the board after three full terms.
The following day, the newly constituted Oregon Shores board chose officers for the year. Ron Steffens of Bandon will replace the long-serving Allison Asbjornsen as president. Steffens is a professor of communications at Green Mountain College (primarily teaching online) and also serves as a wildfire manager during summers.
Rounding out the board will be Michael Coe as vice-president (returning to a role held preciously), Noah Winchester as secretary and Leslie Morehead continuing as treasurer.

 King Tide Project Surges Again Next Week
Netarts Bay shoreline during recent King Tide series. Photo by Tracy Schmidt
The next round of this year's King Tide project arrives next week with the high tide sequence from Nov. 24-27. The first round took place in October, and photos have been posted. But there is still plenty of opportunity to participate. Get out your cameras and visit the coast during the final two sets of extreme high tide events this year: next week's series, and Dec. 23-25.
For the sixth year, CoastWatch is sponsoring the annual King Tide project. This is the Oregon branch of an international volunteer effort to trace the year’s highest tides by means of photography. Documenting the highest reach of the tides tells us something about areas of the natural and built environments which are subject to erosion and flooding now. It tells us even more about what to expect as sea level rises. Our co-sponsors this year include the state’s Coastal Management Program, Surfrider, Washed Ashore and the Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP); other organizations are also invited to get involved.
We’re asking anyone capable of taking a photograph and able to get to the coast during the series of high tides to take shots at the highest point of the tide on those days. These photos can focus on any feature. Those that show the location of the tide in relation to the built environment (roads, seawalls, buildings) are especially useful in demonstrating impending threats. The ideal photo would be taken from a location where the photographer can return later at an ordinary high tide to take a comparison shot.
CoastWatch is making a special effort to organize photographers to document the reach of the King Tides in the vicinity of the new marine reserves (Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, Otter Rock, Cape Perpetua and Redfish Rocks). If willing to help with this citizen science project and seeking directions to areas we would particularly like to document, please let us know.
Participants will post photographs online through the King Tide Photo Initiative website, where project
information and the online submission form can be accessed. Be prepared to include the location, date, description, and direction of the photo. For more information about the technical aspects of the project, contact Andy Lanier, Coastal Resources Specialist for the Oregon Coastal Management Program, (503) 934-0072, (503) 206-2291 (cell),
At the conclusion of the project, three celebrations will be held along the coast. The Jan. 8, 2016 celebration is being hosted by HRAP in Cannon Beach, The Inn at Otter Crest is hosting the January 15th celebration, and Washed Ashore in Bandon is hosting the celebration on January 22nd. The best of the King Tide photos will be shown, photographers will be on hand to comment, and there will be a special speaker. These events will be free and open to all (appetizers are provided with beverages available for purchase at the venues).
For information about the project, and about participating in the special effort to document the King Tides in the marine reserve areas, contact Fawn Custer, CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, at (541) 270-0027,

 Plan Now for ‘Sharing the Coast’ in 2016
Students learning at sea. Photo courtesy of Ocean Inquiry.
CoastWatch collaborates each year with the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME) in sponsoring the annual Sharing the Coast Conference, which offers a wealth of information to those monitoring the coast (CoastWatchers) and those teaching about it and interpreting it for visitors (NAME members, who may well be CoastWatchers, too).
Mark your calendars for the 2016 edition of Sharing the Coast, slated for March 4-6 at Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay (1988 Newmark). Lectures, breakout sessions and field trips will explore a wide range of shoreline- and ocean-related topics. Some breakout sessions and field trips will be oriented toward CoastWatchers, others toward teachers and interpreters (those who are both CoastWatchers and teachers or interpreters will have some hard choices to make).
Our keynote speaker for the Friday evening session is Fritz Stahr, who manages the Seaglider Fabrication Center at the University of Washington’s School of Oceanography, making autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) driven by buoyancy. He co-founded the Ocean Inquiry Project in 2000, a small non-profit organization dedicated to teaching marine science through on-the-water experience while conducting research in Puget Sound to the benefit of both scientific research and students. Dr. Stahr will describe his experiences in exploring the ocean through the use of ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), and in introducing students to marine science.
The rest of the agenda is still in development, but talks and workshops will focus on our changing climate and changing ocean, rocky shore and beach ecology, and many other topics of interest to those who watch the shore and those who teach others about it. As always, the conference will feature a Saturday evening party with an engaging speaker and a cutthroat coast-themed trivia contest.
The Friday evening session is free and open to all. Conference fees will be $35 for members of either Oregon Shores or NAME, and $50 for the general public, which includes Saturday lunch and the party.
More information will be available shortly, but meanwhile, please save the dates.

 Website Campaign Reaches Finish Line!
A prototype page for the new website.
Oregon Shores has had a special goal this year. In addition to all our ongoing programs, we have been at work on a complete revamping of our underlying technology, and most notably our website.
All summer and into fall, we have been conducting a fund-raising campaign with a goal of $38,000 for this long-needed technical rebuild. Now, just in time for our annual meeting, we are happy to announce that the campaign has been a success and the website project is now funded and on track for completion. Our thanks to the So Hum Foundation, which provided a generous grant, and to the individual supporters who chipped in to make this possible.
A glance at the pages of this website will tell you that Oregon Shores is deeply engaged in a wide range of conservation work, from citizen science and marine reserves to land use and water quality issues. We’ve built a long record of accomplishment, but we have done so struggling with rusty tools.
Many of us have a certain fondness for our one-of-a-kind website, the one you’re visiting now. It was custom-designed with features that were unique in their day, and it has carried us through many initiatives and many battles. However, the website is limited in many ways, and is badly in need of an upgrade. Likewise, the “back-end” technology that supports all of our membership services and communications is cumbersome and lacking the kind of capacity available through a modern system. Plus, the new citizen science projects we have organized through CoastWatch would benefit greatly from more sophisticated techniques for gathering and displaying shoreline observations and measurements. We would like to further our citizen science work through interactive maps and connections with national and international data sharing systems.
Working with Portland’s Dorey Design Group, we are in the midst of a complete transformation of our website and a thorough enhancement of the behind-the-scenes technology that powers our communications, membership management, and data collection and analysis for coastal monitoring.
Once the transition is complete, with a tentative completion date of January, 2016, you will find a website that is easier to read and navigate—not to mention more beautiful and engaging, with more photos, videos, maps, and opportunities to interact with fellow coastal conservationists. You will also find more and better tools to assist you in monitoring a CoastWatch mile, participating in a citizen science project, or getting active on a land use or water quality issue, along with a rich trove of information on important issues like marine reserves, shoreline habitats, invasive species, and adaptive planning.
For more information about the details of this project, send email to

 Oregon Shores' Jordan Cove Appeal Holds the Line
For the time being, at least, Oregon Shores has succeeded in thwarting the would-be developers of an LNG (liquefied natural gas) export facility at Jordan Cove on Coos Bay’s north spit. The Jordan Cove Energy Project (a branch of Canadian corporation Veresen) had sought to “verify” all the land use approvals it had received from Coos County for an earlier version if the development, when it ... MORE 
 South Coast Mining Opponents Await Next Phase
The public comment period concerning mining proposals aimed at the headwaters of south coast rivers has ended. Now we wait for the next phase. Public meetings held Sept. 9-10 in Gold Beach and Grants Pass by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service, attended by more than 400 people, were a watershed moment in public demand for protection of the south coast’s near-pristine rivers. Of ... MORE 
 Photos Shared with Oregon Shores Help Us Illustrate Our Work
As you've likely noticed if you visit this website regularly, Oregon Shores uses numerous photographs of the shoreline and of the entire coastal region. We illustrate articles on this website, and we also use photos in newsletters and e-bulletins and in various other publications, such as CoastWatch handouts. We’re constantly searching for new images of the coast. Some we seek for their sheer ... MORE