Search for impacts and accomplishments of Oregon Sea Grant-funded projects using PIER - the NOAA and National Sea Grant project database.
To find information on a specific project, search the database using the titles of impact statements provided below. If you have difficulty finding a project, please contact us.
Quantifying and Communicating the Impacts of Groundfish Bottom Trawling on Deoxygenation and Nutrient Fluxes off Oregon
Description: Studies of the effects of bottom trawling generally conclude that these activities cause mortality of demersal and benthic species, loss of habitat complexity, and sediment disturbance. We will leverage a unique opportunity on the Oregon continental margin created by the planned re-opening of the Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA) for bottom trawling in 2020. In collaboration with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the trawl community, we will study sediment and bottom boundary water layer processes, documenting the incidence of bottom trawling effects and the extent of their associated biogeochemical impacts. The goal of our work is to provide regionally-relevant information to federal and state fisheries managers that may be factored into current and future ecosystem based management strategies. Outreach efforts will seek to publicize through multimedia formats a balanced presentation of industry and science-based perspectives on the tradeoffs between harvesting groundfishes for food and the wider ecosystem effects of trawling activities.
PI: Clare Reimers, OSU CEOAS
PBDEs/Methylmercury and Immune Function in Non-Stranded Male California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus)
Description: California sea lions are a sentinel species for coastal pollution because they share a common prey base with humans; however, most research to date has focused on stranded sea lions, often long after disease first occurs. Commercial and recreational shellfish fisheries depend on coastal managers to provide information on potential human health impacts from coastal pollution, including methylmercury and polybrominated diphenyl ethers, as well as domoic acid from harmful algal blooms. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is authorized to lethally remove (via humane euthanasia) specifically-qualified habituated California sea lions in response to salmonid predation in the Columbia River Basin. The availability of a comparatively large sample size of non-degraded biological tissues presents a rare opportunity for researchers to address critical knowledge gaps relevant to the health status of non-stranded male California sea lions. Coastal pollutants will be analyzed in tissues, and immune function will be assessed. These data will inform coastal managers concerning sea lion health, ecosystem health, and potential health impacts to human populations, including tribal communities, who ingest the same varieties of seafood.
PI: Sarah Rothenberg, OSU School of Biological and Population Health Sciences
Determining habitat suitability under climate change and ocean acidification for oysters in Oregon’s estuaries
Description: Oysters are a sentinel species in response to climate change; despite their persistence and ubiquity in temperate estuaries globally, they are generally found to be sensitive to ocean acidification and climate change. While Oregon has led the way in responding to ocean acidification impacts on larvae, there is continued concern that outplanted oysters (post-larvae and adults) respond to these climate change stressors in different ways. Our project adapts an existing model framework to identify optimal oyster habitats within Yaquina Bay, OR. Model simulations, as well as the visual output and design, will be developed in collaboration with project partners representing aquaculture, tribal, and land conservation/oyster restoration interests. Our team has an established working relationship with these stakeholders for an applied project that addresses Sea Grant priorities and the recommendations from the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia panel.
PI: George Waldbusser, OSU CEOAS
How do beachgrasses build dunes? Exploring foredune stability with native and invasive grasses to guide management practices on the Oregon coast
Description: In Oregon, coastal foredunes are used as habitats for animals, recreation and living areas for people. Foredune management in Oregon is a chronic issue due to overloads of blowing sand piling up on coastal homes, and invasive beachgrasses compromising the habitat of endangered species. Most current knowledge of foredune building in Oregon focuses around either the large scale long-term patterns of dune evolution or the very small scale short-term patterns of sediment trapping by vegetation, yet there is no quantifiable link between the two. In management practice, it is the intermediate timescales that are important. We will follow the evolution of Oregon foredune geomorphology from the small to the large scale in the context of foredune management practices. Our goal is to develop fundamental insights into coastal dune behavior through experimental field manipulations of various beachgrasses including natives, non-natives and hybrid species. Our team of engineers, coastal geoscientists and ecologists will provide science-based foredune management guidance for the state of Oregon via a community accessible Oregon Dune Management Booklet. Project objectives, including the Booklet, were co-developed with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Oregon’s Coastal Management Program.
PI: Meagan Wengrove, OSU Civil & Construction Engineering