Thursday, May 15, 2008

Answer: Have someone throw it at you

Our riddle has been answered (see previous blog titles), hopefully you all guessed somewhat close! (Although I know with this weeks lectures, we could have come up with many conservation answers to our riddle about ecosystem based management, marine reserves, and ecosystem restoration.)

Wednesday was spent down South of Hatfield in an ongoing restoration effort. First we headed out to Yachats City Hall for a passionate lecture by Paul Engelmeyer . He informed us of ongoing projects that he and several other members of the Audubon Society have been working on. He also described the state of many salmon, rockfish, sea birds, and mammals that have raised concerns along the Oregon coasts.

After a quick diversion on the City Hall playground, we were off in our vans to meet up with Chris, who had been monitoring a section of Ten Mile Creek searching mostly for juvenile salmon swimming out to sea and back again. Chris explained their methods of collecting and releasing the younger fish back upstream. He also showed us a few examples of different aged species living in the cool waters. One thing Paul pointed out to us was the extreme importance of loose logs and stumps that provide a habitat and refuge for the larvae, eggs, and younger species (They are similar to Kelp beds in marine environments that create a more 3-D structured habitat).

From there we did some trekking through a few wooded areas, concentrating mostly on forest growth and habitat restoration. We also enjoyed our delicious packed lunches while listening to Jack, another important contributor to the restoration project.

Thursday began with a lecture on ecosystem based management and meetings about our conservation presentations (to be given Friday afternoon). After a sweltering lunch hour, we headed back into the classroom (or what some deemed as "sauna" due to extreme Newport temperatures). Our afternoon was filled with questions such as "Should marine reserves be in state waters?" and "How do we MANAGE these marine reserves?" There to help inform us about current Oregon policies and political contreversies was Dr. Selina Heppell. Her discussion left with plenty to think about:

**What evidence is needed to answer the question, “why do we need marine reserves in Oregon state waters?”

Well, that about wraps up conservation week. Hope you all had fun and can now explain the difference between MPAs, EBM, Marine sanctuaries, and Marine reserves. Good luck on Friday's presentations and op-eds! And don't forget, as Karen pointed out to us, we are the future of marine conservation.

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