Student groups from Oregon are seeking ways to give back to local communities and our one world Ocean. By Karisa Boyce
Willamette University office of Community Service Learning and Outdoor Program are teaming up with Ocean Blue on March 16th 2019 to protect oceans through coastal cleanup efforts.
Bullards Beach State Park in Bandon, Oregon is welcoming students and community volunteers on March 16th. We will conduct microplastic research and make impact to save the ocean. MIcroplastic pollution plagues the shores of the west coast. Plastic is also being found in cold water bodies inland, the Atlantic ocean, and marine environments all over the globe.
Global fish and marine life are all being impacted by plastic pollution in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Is there any body of water left on the planet that is not being affected by plastic waste?
Scientists take water samples to learn more about the tons of plastic found in water from the gulf stream to the north Atlantic. Fish populations are also tested for plastics to see how the human food chain is impacted and the outlook is not good.
Ocean conservation is essential for the 3 billion people who rely on seafood as their main source of protein. This is why Ocean Blue and students of Willamette U are eager to help clean it up. Together, we are working to protect our precious resource. Ocean current maps are contributing in the efforts too.
Plastic is delivered to beaches by way of ocean currents and high tides. As the tide goes back out to sea, floating plastic fragments are left deposited on the beach. Thermohaline circulation accounts for deep ocean currents driven by water density differences. Deep ocean conveyor belts are created by cold water temperatures caused by polar ice.
However, wind drives the currents on the top 100 meters or so of the ocean surface. This makes it easy to remove the floating plastics, especially when groups like Willamette U’s Community Service Learning Program and Outdoor Program are willing to clean it up.
The Community Service Learning program provides students with opportunities to give back in their communities. The group works with local, statewide, and national organizations or initiatives. Several courses are linked with service learning projects, integrating civic engagement with curricula.
During the 2016-17 school year, students provided 77,655 hours in community service learning projects. This is a $1.8 million private-sector value based on standards set by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
A big way that Willamette U students give back is through Service Saturdays. Students are exposed to a variety of projects and gain diverse knowledge and skill set. During spring break, students Take a Break through the TaB program. Through Language in Motion or LiM, study abroad returnees and international students provide presentations for school classrooms throughout Salem and Keizer in Oregon.
Willamette University’s Office of Community Service Learning offerings are an excellent example for other universities. Willamette U has received several Presidential awards for the example they have set. Now, Ocean Blue cannot wait to be part of their efforts through Volunteer Beach Cleanups.
Become an Annual Member of Ocean Blue to support Volunteer Beach Cleanups. Sign up for this event here.
Join a beach cleanup with Ocean Blue. Have a group of friends, office staff, or company wanting to give back in your local community? Learn how you can create a cleanup event with Ocean Blue. Create Your Cleanup! Visit our face book to help fundraiser for beach cleanups in your area. Visit the Chapters web page.
By Karisa Boyce
Free Fishing on The Oregon Coast to Celebrate Presidents Day
In just a few short days, you could be out fishing...for free! Both days of President’s Day Weekend, February 17th and 18th, there is no license or tag requirement to fish, crab, or clam!
Free fishing weekends in Oregon provide the perfect opportunity to get the whole family to the coast or your local river. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife offers up to 8 free fishing days every year. For 2018, these days include June 2nd and 3rd, September 1st and 2nd for Labor Day Weekend, and November 23rd and 24th before Thanksgiving. While there is no license or tag required for free fishing days, keep in mind that all other regulations still apply, which includes size restrictions and bag limits
If you decide to get your friends and families out on the Oregon Coast, you may also want to spend some time adventuring to check out the natural world, where you will find some of the most diverse marine ecology on Earth. The Oregon Coast is teeming with diverse wildlife in part because of the kelp forest and rock reefs situated along the coast. Such areas provide safe haven from strong ocean currents for many fish species, like greenlings, flatfish, and rockfish. Without these zones, many species would not be provided the shelter needed to survive.
Tidepools are another fun way to explore the diversity that the Oregon coast offers the world. You will find brown, red, and green algae along with many invertebrate animals, like sea cucumbers, sea urchins, barnacles, shrimp, crabs, limpets, sea stars, mussels, sea anemones, and sponges. If you are near Coos Bay, visit Sunset Bay State Park, or a little farther north at Strawberry Hill near yachats to visit some of the largest and most popular tidepool environments.
President’s Day weekend is also an opportune time for whale watching! If you plan to stay the night on the coast, you may decide to go fishing one day and take a whale watching boat tour the next day. The gray whale, orca, and humpback whale all migrate along the Oregon Coast between the end of December and the end of March. You may also see a harbor porpoise, one of the smallest marine mammals in the world that hangs out close to the coast and near river estuaries.
Other mammals on the Oregon Coast include seal species and sea lions. The most popular places to experience the sounds and sights of Stellar’s sea lion and harbor seals are at the Historic Bayfront in Newport or the Sea Lion Caves outside of Florence. If you happen to see a seal pup on a sandy beach, know that it is resting and is not to be disturbed. Not only is disturbing a seal or sea lion against the law, it keeps them from the important rest they need to survive in the Pacific Ocean. Before 2009 in Depoe Bay, not one single sea otter had been found in more than 103 years because fur hunters had wiped out their population.
So, don’t take this President’s Day weekend for granted! Grab your crab pots and your fishing rods and head to the water. Turn the weekend into a Valentine’s getaway and check out some tidepools and migrating whales while you’re at it! Enjoy your weekend and get ready to clean beaches. The National Beach Cleanup Initiative 2018 is coming! Which beach will you be cleaning?
Beach Cleanup Event you will not want to miss!
If your lover loves coffee, you won’t go wrong with a gift from Pull Caffé. A Pacific Northwest coffee company worth talking about, Pull Caffé provides wood roasted coffee with blends like maplewood light roast and cherrywood dark roast, all roasted in a cast iron German roaster that’s 100 years old! They also build sustainable coffee machines with a one-of-a-kind antique aesthetic that defy current market trends. Most products are built to be thrown away these days, which is sending appliances to the landfill at alarming rates. But, not Pull Machines! Read More:
Coffee and espresso machines operate at temperatures that can make their wires brittle. This ultimately reduces the life of the machines to about five years. Just think of all the coffee shops you know off the top of your head. Now multiply that number by five and you will get an idea of the number of coffee machines that could potentially be headed to the landfill every 25 years. With their luxurious Italian leather wrapped levers and hand turned walnut handles and taps, Pull Machines are also built with wiring that is built to endure the heat of 300 degrees or more 365 days per year and last a lifetime. Each machine is uniquely hand-crafted in the U.S.A. and built with a quality over quantity ideal.
Pull Caffé also uses packaging that is fully recyclable, or reusable for that matter. There are almost no uses I can think of for a foil or plastic coffee bag, but there are endless possibilities of how to reuse a coffee can. Using a coffee tin, as opposed to the nasty plastic alternative, Pull Caffé is celebrating the time honored craft of vacuum packed canning for keeping their coffee as fresh as the day it was packaged. One thing I found to be epic is this company also accepts Bitcoin, BitcoinCash, Litecoin, ETHEREUM, and of course the American dollar! He is also giving away a free cup of coffee at Beach Cleanups! Events:
Sustainable products aren’t the only thing Pull Caffé offers the world. Todd Millar, owner of Millars Coffee and Pull Caffé, is a dedicated supporter of Ocean Blue Project’s beach cleanups. Not only is Todd saving up burlap bags for Ocean Blue volunteers to use in collecting beach rubbish and microplastics, he is also offering up his flavor-packed wood roasted coffee. That’s right! For every volunteer that brings along a reusable coffee mug, there will be coffee waiting for you at the Ocean Blue sign-in table.
You'll need a premium, porcelain mug to warm up with after a