Starting off the summer outside

Volunteers search for life to document as part of the 2018 Cape Perpetua BioBlitz. (Photos courtesy of Oregon Coast Aquarium)

LINCOLN COUNTY — As school comes to a close and the weather gets warmer, its a great time to get outside for some exercise and fresh air. While beach cleanups are plentiful and important to the ecosystem, there are other outdoor activities both on and off the sand that can make a difference and get your summer started outside.

North County

A series of “BioBlitz” surveys are being held this summer, hosted by Oregon Marine Reserves, ODFW, Oregon State Parks and Oregon Coast Aquarium. A BioBlitz is an intensive survey of a defined area on a single day with the goal of identifying all the species to be found in that area at one time. These surveys will help to give local scientists a snapshot of biodiversity at each of Oregon’s Marine Reserves.

In June, there are two BioBlitz surveys being held in Lincoln County: on June 6 at Otter Rock Marine Reserve starting at 8:30 a.m. and on June 8 at Cascade Head Marine Reserve starting at 10:40 a.m. For a complete list of BioBlitz events along the coast or to RSVP, visit aquarium.org/bioblitz.

Central County

Between Newport and Toledo sits Sitka Springs Farm, where volunteers will be lending a hand to work on an ongoing salmon habitat restoration project by pulling invasive plants and preparing the area for fall planting season.

Hosted by the Midcoast Watersheds Council, Lincoln County Soil and Water Conservation District and Whale and Dolphin Conservation — a nonprofit based out of Massachusetts — this event’s outcome perfectly falls within the goals of its hosts; restoring watersheds and salmon habitats can improve ecosystem health, boost salmon populations and help feed southern resident orcas.

The event will take place on June 7 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Sitka Springs Farm: 4427 Highway 20, Toledo. Participants are encouraged to bring water, work gloves, hand shovels or horrey knives, sun block, work clothes and boots and a lunch.

South County

A number of events are available at the south end of the county over the course of the summer. At Yachats State Park, a sea star survey will be held June 6 starting at 8:30 a.m., July 3 at 7 a.m. and August 1 at 6:30 a.m. This ongoing citizen science project collects data which is used to help researchers understand the cause of sea star wasting syndrome and how it changes depending on time and location. Participants are asked to wear a windproof jacket and shoes appropriate for walking on rocks and potentially getting wet. The group will meet at the Yachats State Park wooden platform on Oceanview Drive, on the north side of the river, and head down to the survey site together. Those wishing to participate should RSVP to Tara DuBois at [email protected].

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