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Oregon Tales

June 30 2008 | Jim's Blog,
by Jim

This past weekend we had a Board of Directors meeting in Oregon. We host board meetings in locations that reflect the work we're doing all over the globe. This gives our board, 15 people who volunteer their time and expertise on behalf of our mission, first-hand knowledge of local issues. The Oregon chapter network has been doing notable work for years so it was great to spend some extended time with them.Nothing is better than interacting with locals.No one delivers more accurate and more passionate detail of coastal issues.Nothing substitutes for walking the coast and seeing issues firsthand.For some, perhaps odd, reason the sign to the right captures a bit of Oregon in my mind. Along the Oregon coastline things are still so lush and intact that there is moss growing on the street signs (in summer). You don't see that in many watersheds... not in Florida, not in the lower half of California and not in Rio.Oregon is still gorgeously intact. It's ecosystems are, for the most part, healthy. These points, by themselves, are notable as I look across the globe at coastal areas.Of course there are some very large challenges they are dealing with, I'll talk about three.Wave energy is a new and growing field. It's also one that directly overlaps into our world. We absolutely want alternative forms of energy uncovered/captured and yet we're aware that we're called to be stewards of our coastal environs. A few geographies that bubble to the top regarding optimal for "wave farms." One place is Oregon. I believe there are 8 distinct applications for wave projects in Oregon. For background on wave energy check out our new blog on this subject.Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is a fancy term for simply looking at a regions entire environment. It encompasses the land, the ocean, and the connections between the two. We're increasingly involved in these kinds of projects because our mission is really focused on where the land meets the sea. The majority of impacts to that area originate from the land. There are six large-scale EBM projects on the west coast of the United States and we are involved in three of them. One of these is Port Oreford, Oregon.The Oregon activists, volunteers and overall community is notable. Our staff, Charlie Plybon and Pete Stauffer, set the bar for engagement, leadership and relevancy. Together they are doing great work. A small slice of which is captured in this video from International Surfing Day a week and a half ago.Of course there are many more issues; pulp mill pollution, marine reserves, water quality issues, etc.
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