Climate change is topic at Williams Lecture

Evan Hayduk, a restoration specialist with the MidCoast Watersheds Council, will talk will talk about the effect of climate change on tidal wetlands at the Oregon Coast Community College Foundation’s Williams Lecture on Thursday Jan. 17. (Courtesy photo)

“Shedding a Scientific and Humanitarian Light on Climate Change” will be the topic on Thursday, Jan. 17, at a presentation being held as part of the Oregon Coast Community College Foundation’s Williams Lecture Series.

The session will begin at 7 p.m. in the community room at OCCC’s central county campus, located at 400 SE College Way, in South Beach. The guest speakers will be Bill Kucha and Evan Hayduk.

Kucha’s talk will focus on the problems people face as climate change progresses. He will describe what specifically is being done in Lincoln County to address it and what more there is to be done as individuals and as a community. 

Kucha is the founder of 350 Oregon Central Coast, an environmental group focusing on climate change. He has been a resident of Lincoln County since 1976 and has worked as an artist and as an art educator during that time. He taught at OCCC from its inception and continuing for 20 more years.

Hayduk is a restoration specialist with the MidCoast Watersheds Council. His talk will focus on tidal wetlands.

“Tidal wetlands are important habitats for salmon and a diversity of other fish and wildlife species,” said Hayduk. “They also trap sediment, buffer coastal communities from flooding and erosion, and perform other valued ecosystem services.” Tidal wetlands currently exist just at and above sea level, and healthy tidal wetlands are able to adapt to slow sea level changes. But if sea level rises too fast, tidal wetland plant communities may not be able to persist at their current locations. To survive, these plants may have to move to areas of higher elevation.

This presentation will be the 32nd in the Williams Lecture Series since its inception in the spring of 1993. Wendy Williams created the Williams Lecture Series in honor of her husband, William Appleman Williams, a noted historian. Known as the “Father of Revisionist History,” he taught American diplomatic history and foreign policy for more than 30 years at Oregon State University. His last teaching assignment was at OCCC, where he taught maritime history. Wendy Williams made a donation to the OCCC Foundation to create a fund for the lectures.

For more information about the Jan. 17 lecture, call 541-994-4166 or visit oregoncoastcc.org/foundation.

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