‘All About Sand’ is topic of free community talk

Coastal naturalist Marty Giles, left, will give a free community talk, “All About Sand,” at 7 p.m. today (Friday) March 8, to kick off the 10th annual Sharing the Coast Conference at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in South Beach. (Courtesy photo)

What could be a more relevant topic for a conference about the shoreline than sand? The 10th annual Sharing the Coast Conference kicks off today (Friday) March 8, with a free community talk called “All About Sand.”

This program begins at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) in the Hennings Auditorium at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, 2030 SE Marine Science Drive, South Beach. It features Marty Giles, a coastal naturalist who will describe what sand is, where it comes from, what it does on the beach, who lives with it and where it goes when it's done. 

Giles has been interpreting the Oregon coast for residents and visitors for more than four decades. She has been a naturalist for a variety of agencies, including Oregon State Parks, Oregon State University Extension/Sea Grant, and South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. She holds a master’s degree in recreation resources development from Texas A&M University, specializing in environmental interpretation.

Those years of education and professional experience are now applied to Giles’ interpretive nature guiding service, Wavecrest Discoveries, based in Coos Bay, which specializes in customized, "mind-refreshing" explorations of Oregon's southern coast that reconnect people with nature.

The Sharing the Coast conference itself begins at 9 a.m. (doors open at 8:30) on Saturday, March 9, also at HMSC. Talks on Saturday cover such topics as marine mammals, seabirds, natural materials found on the shoreline while beachcombing, invasive species and marine debris. Sunday, March 10, is the day for field trips to various locations.

Anyone wanting to register for the conference can do so Friday evening during the community talk. The conference is jointly sponsored by the CoastWatch program of the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition and the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME).

For more information about the conference and the featured speakers, go to oregonshores.org/coastwatch. Additional information can also be obtained by containing Fawn Custer, CoastWatch’s volunteer coordinator, at 541-270-0027 or [email protected].

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