Local News – Tsunami Debris Piling Up; Thorp selected to fill Port vacancy; Oregon Coast Magazine 30 years

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Tsunami Debris and Marine Invasive Species…

Debris washing up on Oregon beaches from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan could be carrying hitchhikers that can wreak environmental havoc in the Northwest.  Oregon State Parks and Recreation officials say invasive species pose a serious threat and coastal residents and visitors can help minimize that.

One of the simplest ways is by picking up trash and debris on the beach and throwing it away.

If that’s not possible, says Chris Havel, simply drag the debris above the high tide line where any potential organisms will dry out and die.  Havel says if debris is too large to move, you should notify the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department… possibly taking a photo of it as well.

Havel says never move debris with organisms on it to other bodies of water, even to an aquarium or self contained pond.  That only increases the possibility of the spread of any invasive species.

Surfrider Volunteers Fill Dumpster and Trucks

One local group of about two-dozen volunteers spent a couple hours on the beach near the Siltcoos River Estuary Saturday morning picking up some of that possible trash and debris from Japan.  Melisa Buckwald, a local member of the Surfrider Foundation, said volunteers picked up plastic containers with Japanese labels, large chunks of insulating foam, and even lumber.

Enough debris was gathered to fill a large dumpster and at least two pickups.  Buckwald said much of the debris carried goose-neck pelagic barnacles that are typically found in the deep ocean, far away from coastal areas.  That leads her to believe the detritus (deh-TRY-tiss) has been drifting for several months in the open ocean before coming ashore.

Former Port Commissioner tabbed for vacancy

A former Port of Siuslaw Commissioner will fill the remainder of the term of Sally Owens.  The 63-year old Owens passed away earlier this month following a lengthy illness.  She had been appointed to fill the vacancy created when Bob Thorpe stepped down in 2010, then subsequently won election to a four-year term a year later.  Thorpe was the lone candidate considered for the position by the remaining four members on the Port of Siuslaw Commission.  He was appointed last week and will be sworn in next month.

30 Years of Oregon Coast Magazine

30-years of story telling are being celebrated in the latest edition of Oregon Coast Magazine.  Subscribers of the magazine, based in Florence, already have the anniversary edition in hand.  It will appear on newsstands early next month.  Publisher and editor Alicia Spooner said the bi-monthly publication has gone through a few changes after 180 editions.

Alicia Spooner – “I would say that it’s changed quite a bit.  The design is certainly more streamlined.”

Spooner, along with husband and co-publisher Rob, bought Oregon Coast from founders Russ and Nell Heggen in 1988.  They’ve kept the focus on the magazine’s namesake… but did flirt with some ‘inland’ stories once or twice.

Alicia Spooner – “We heard from our readers.  They told us in no uncertain terms that they bought Oregon Coast because they wanted to hear about Oregon Coast and we were not to go off the coast, so we didn’t.”

That episode actually spawned another publication, Northwest Travel Magazine, which the Spooners sold a few years ago.  One other spinoff publication that has continued is the annual “Mile by Mile” guide for the coast… first published in 1991.