What EO 21-15 Does
When Governor Kate signed executive order 21-15 it eliminated the Oregon’s County Risk Level framework that had been in place since last winter. Changes to the pandemic restrictions have been ongoing since the beginning of the pandemic. Even though cases of the coronavirus have not entirely gone away and the Oregon Health Authority is still releasing daily numbers what the executive order effectively means for businesses is the removal of restrictions for capacity limits, forced closing times and no more physical distancing requirements for business, entertainment venues or faith organizations. Statewide mask mandates have been removed with the exception of health care settings and mass transportation. The OHA is still recommending that partially vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals still practice masking, physical distancing and limit participation in gatherings.
LRAPA: Smoke Not Affecting Lane County
The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency says air quality has not been seriously affected for the county thus far from the Jack Fire burning east of Glide on highway 138. Northerly winds have kept the smoke from penetrating the area. The fire is 10% contained at last report and evacuations and closings have been ongoing. State campgrounds in the area have been evacuated.
Eel Grass Disappearing
A new study finds restoration of eelgrass, an important marine plant, depends mostly on where rather than how. The findings could help guide Oregon as it updates its decades-old estuary management plans. The report, commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts, analyzed 51 eelgrass restoration projects on the West Coast, including four in Oregon. It shows the location of projects is the biggest factor in their success. Patty Snow is Oregon coastal management program manager with the Department of Land Conservation and Development.
“When we first were putting our estuary plans together 40 years ago, we knew the habitat value of eelgrass but didn’t realize these other important benefits that eelgrass provides.”
Eelgrass is found nearshore and is considered a foundation species for ecosystems – other species, from sea otters to halibut, use it as habitat. It also plays an important role in combating climate change. However, researchers have found about 30-percent of the world’s eelgrass has disappeared since the 1870s.
Power of Florence
This Saturday the Power of Florence will celebrate 11 years of community involvement in volunteering. For the second year in a row there will be no scheduled party in the Grocery Outlet parking lot but groups will gather around town to work on a half dozen different projects. Groups will be working on the Heceta Dunes removing Scotch Broom and Habitat Restore will be having a bottle and can drive. There is also a competitive food drive pitting Duck fans against Beaver fans for Stuff the Bus from 11-3 in the Grocery Outlet Parking Lot. It is also the day for the Florence Van Fans Ice Cream Social to be held at the Florence Events Center from 1-3. A complete list of events is available at powerofflorence.org.