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NOAA/ Sea Grant Database

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.

Note: The work below is recommended for funding and pending final approval by NOAA.

  • Co-Creating a Community Participatory Resilience Model for Oregon Coastal Hazards

PI: Jenna Tilt, Oregon State University
Other Investigators: Natasha Fox (Oregon Dept of Emergency Management / OSU), David Lewis (OSU), Felicia Olmeta-Schult (Sea Grant/OSU), Peter Ruggiero (OSU)

Summary: This project will develop and implement strategies for equitable participation in knowledge co-production and hazard resilience among three Oregon communities (Tribal and Indigenous communities, 2SLGBTQ+ communities, and Latinx communities) in Tillamook County and Lincoln County. Through community engaged research guided by sustained collaboration with 10 partner organizations and six Community Advisors (two Advisors each from each community of focus), the project aims to lower barriers and diminish critical equity gaps to inclusive hazard preparation and decision-making processes. Our innovative methodology includes co-developing targeted community surveys, focus group workshops, and community-tailored hazard training events, designed to produce policy-relevant knowledge regarding how diverse underserved communities are impacted by, and plan, adapt, and respond to natural hazards. By investigating how the three communities have built their own hazard awareness and preparedness strategies outside the purview of institutional structures and processes, we will demonstrate how these activities contribute to community resilience, identifying lessons and best practices that can be scaled up to other groups, other hazards, and other geographical areas. These findings will be featured in a Community Participatory Resilience Guide for Oregon Coastal Hazards, to inform researchers and hazard planning practitioners on equitable and respectful communication, engagement, and relationship-building with underrepresented and marginalized groups in hazard prone coastal zones. Each phase of the research was carefully designed to inform subsequent phases, while ensuring that the findings and recommendations of the work are guided at every step, by the objectives, desires, and experiences of the three key communities of focus.

  • Microplastics Science Optimizing Solutions (MP-SOS): Testing Strategies for Oregon

PI: Elise Granek (Portland State University)
Other Investigators: Susanne Brander (OSU), Tala Navab-Daneshmand (OSU)

Summary: Microplastics present one of our most difficult environmental challenges, particularly because they are extremely difficult to remove once emitted into ecosystems. To address the ubiquitous and multifaceted threat of microplastics and microfibers - as aquatic and marine debris, we propose a research-to-action project to assess the efficacy of distributed wastewater and stormwater preventative interventions on microplastic loads to coastal watersheds and in effluent water. Embedded educational and outreach components include a) awareness raising and engagement of community groups and students from marginalized and/or underserved communities who will learn about microplastic pollution and participate in the installation and assessment of intervention measures via citizen science; and b) outreach with end-users including municipalities, legislators, and tourism industry professionals. Outreach from previous projects and proposal development will continue at project initiation to assure active representation of interested parties. A Microplastics Advisory Panel (MAP) will engage a broader group of professionals to advise the project and co-develop recommendations to scale up interventions based on project results. Project objectives include: (1) Understand efficacy of watershed-scale stormwater control measures in removing microplastics; (2) Quantify the efficacy of washing machine filter installation across 15% of a community’s households in reducing microplastics entering the coastal watershed; (3) Compare microplastic loads emitted from home dryer vents to that from washers; (4) Determine the challenges experienced by homeowners and municipality staff from installing the interventions; (5) Educate a) students about environmental microplastics and their role in facilitating solutions by engaging them in data analysis of filter effectiveness; and b) the public, including underrepresented communities, through social media campaigns, an exhibit at the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center public visitor center; and (5) Engage water managers, industry, agencies, and municipal representatives from towns, counties, tribes, and the state in project design, assessment of results, and drafting recommendations for scaling the project.

  • Multi-Species Species Distribution Mapping of Oregon Nearshore Rocky Reefs

PI: Susan E. Piacenza, Oregon State University
Other Investigators: Leif Rasmuson (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife), Aaron Berger (NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service)

Summary: Knowledge of spatial dynamics of fish stocks is essential for sustainable management, and related multi-scale information is becoming increasingly important given growing interest in sustainable blue economy initiatives. However, significant knowledge gaps exist for many marine species, and these gaps are extreme for nearshore rocky reef species because of difficulties with effectively monitoring this critical habitat using conventional survey gears. Existing knowledge gaps can lead to inaccurate stock size estimates, misspecification of sustainable harvest levels, limit nearshore metrics in integrated ecosystem assessments, and blur potential solutions for overlapping interests in marine spatial planning. This research aims to address these gaps by leveraging Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) drop video surveys that have been collected from rocky reefs across the Oregon coastal shelf since 2009. This data will be used to build species distribution models (SDMs) for a suite of groundfish species coupled with remotely-sensed environmental variables. Individual SDMs (iSDM) will also be combined into a multi-species SDM to identify the breadth of critical rocky reef habitat for groundfish species assemblages. Our primary research objectives are: (1) use existing drop video and environmental data to parameterize iSDMs and a multi-species SDM for rocky reef-associated groundfish in Oregon’s nearshore and continental shelf waters to predict distribution, density, and factors driving demographics; (2) validate SDMs using community-elicited local ecological knowledge and newly collected at sea video data; (3) develop a Marine Spatial Planning Simulation Tool to demonstrate utility and applications; and (4) provide guidance on how to incorporate multi-species SDM results into groundfish management and marine spatial planning. The results will be used to improve individual species stock assessments, augment the California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment, guide protected area management, improve scientific nearshore survey design, and explore synergistic options for ocean resource use across local, regional, and national scales.

  • Addressing Overlap and Uncertainty in Assessment of a Critical Bycatch Species

PI: Alexandra McInturf, Oregon State University
Other Investigators: Taylor Chapple (OSU), Leif Rasmuson (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife), Cindy Tribuzio (NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center), Ian Taylor (NOAA Northwest, Fisheries Science Center), Cheryl Barnes (OSU)

Summary: The Pacific Coast stock (PCS) of Pacific Spiny dogfish (hereafter, “dogfish”; Squalus suckleyi) has been subjected to intense fishing pressure in both directed and bycatch fisheries. As a result, in 2021 the PCS was initially estimated at 37% of unexploited biomass, below the target threshold of 40%. This value could result in precautionary management and lead to significant restrictions in many valuable fisheries that currently overlap with dogfish. However, it was later amended to 42% based on uncertainty in catchability.

Such uncertainty largely stems from potential mismatches between surveys (temporal/spatial distributions) and animal movements, which are largely unknown. Informing this mismatch was noted as a priority in the 2021 stock assessment. Better data on PCS distribution is needed to inform survey results, which are directly used in the stock assessments that determine management strategies for this species. The goal of this project is therefore to provide movement data that will be used to inform estimates of catchability and the next PCS dogfish stock assessment. Using electronic tags, we will produce the following outcomes, identified as knowledge gaps in the most recent PCS stock assessment: 1) Characterize seasonal horizontal and vertical movements of juvenile dogfish to identify availability to capture (catchability) in survey and fishing gear, and 2) model juvenile dogfish distribution and response to numerous environmental factors to determine extent, seasonality, and predictors of movements. Our results will be directly disseminated via Council meetings and reports, such as at the Pacific Fishery Management Council, who requested movement data to inform next steps for managing this species.

  • Systems Mapping to Identify Broader Impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms for Oregon Communities

PI: Tawnya Peterson (Oregon Health and Science University)

Summary: Shellfish are vital to the culture and economy of coastal Oregon for recreational, subsistence, and commercial harvesting and tourism. The shellfish industry is vulnerable to recreational and commercial closures from harmful algal blooms and biotoxins, hypoxia, acidification, and coastal pollution. The proposed work seeks to better understand vulnerabilities associated with harmful algal bloom impacts along the Oregon coast by taking a systems approach to identify gaps, threats and leverage points for change. The project team (OHSU faculty member and students) will work collaboratively to build a transdisciplinary systems map to describe and communicate the scope and depth of the problem and to identify and connect interested parties. The goal is to produce information and tools to inform policies that bolster community resilience and mitigate threats to residents, particularly underserved communities by highlighting gaps and opportunities. 

This work will result in a visual, socio-ecological model of HAB impacts on communities in Oregon and beyond. Products will include a systems map documenting community and HAB impacts; a presentation (slides and recordings) describing the map for entry in the ‘Map the System’ challenge at PSU and for sharing with interested parties; a White Paper to share with Oregon state legislators; a peer-reviewed publication summarizing project findings; a public-facing presentation developed through the OMSI Science Communication Fellowship program; a project website, and a publicly shared presentation hosted in a web repository. Results will be presented at Oregon’s State of the Coast conference. Parallel systems mapping projects will be carried out in academic coursework in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health to link academic competencies and career development goals with the research.

  • To what degree will Oregon coastal dunes mitigate the impact of a Cascadia tsunami?

PI: Meagan Wengrove, Oregon State University
Other Investigators: Jonathan Allan (Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries)

Summary: Our goal is to evaluate the protective role of dunes against tsunami. It is anticipated that the work will help drive the need to produce more comprehensive coastwide tsunami inundation maps with better estimates of tsunami inundation in regions of the coast that are highly susceptible to bathometric or topographic change in the event of a tsunami. 

To explore foredune evolution in the context of tsunami impact and community resiliency, we propose a research project that will explore: 1) Estimate the potential for coastal dunes to mitigate tsunami inundation of communities and infrastructure with varying dune characteristics (height, width, vegetation cover). 2) Quantify the potential change to the geomorphology of the Oregon coastal dunes in select communities along the Oregon coast with varying dune characteristics. 3) Identify populations and infrastructure within each community that are most vulnerable to the tsunami hazard in regions where modification of topography is significant. Additionally, we propose the following engagement activities in collaboration with our partners: 1) Make results useful for future updates of the tsunami inundation maps in Oregon. 2) Create an accessible guide to communicate the influence that different Oregon coastal dune archetypes may have on tsunami inundation. 

Key products include: 1) An infographic to aid managers in communicating the potential protective capacity (or not) of dunes in the case of various tsunami scenarios. 2) Preliminary maps that will demonstrate how tsunami inundation extent and topography could be changed by tsunami hazard scenarios. 3) A State of the Dunes Mini-Conference and Workshop where managers and scientists can come together, share progress on various projects (including this project) related to the Oregon coastal dunes and come up with actionable plans for future management and research priorities. 4) An outreach display at the Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center communicating our results in an interactive way.

  • Building capacity to assess human-use contaminant variability across estuarine Zostera marina (common eelgrass) communities to inform management strategies
    Elise Granek, Portland State University
  • Yelloweye Rockfish Species Distribution Modeling in Oregon Nearshore Rocky Reefs
    : Susan Piacenza, OSU, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Science
  • Fog ecohydrology on the Oregon Coast: Testing and evaluation of a new micro-sensor array
    PI: Alex Dye, OSU, Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society

Looking beyond the dams: Inclusive decision processes and interdisciplinary science in the Klamath basin
PI: Desiree Tullos, Oregon State University(OSU)
Co-PIs: Bryan Tilt (OSU), Julie Alexander (OSU), James Peterson (OSU), Guillermo Giannico (OSU / Oregon Sea Grant)

Summary: As the Klamath basin looks beyond dam removal, this project will contribute to new, place-based, and generalizable understanding on nutrient-food web–disease risk dynamics, as well as how decision models can be more inclusive of the diverse perspectives that exist in any river basin. We propose the following objectives:

Objective 1. Document traditional and western knowledge and experiences about the ecological and socio-cultural connections between water quality, the food web, and how coastal communities use the river in a system undergoing change.

Objective 2. Identify, apply and test strategies for extending decision processes to include ways of knowing not based in western science (i.e., traditional ecological knowledge) and apply them to examine the impacts of nutrient management on river uses.

Objective 3. Deliver effective outreach and education. The proposed project aims to generate collaborative, interdisciplinary, and experiential educational opportunities for OSU students and Tribal youth, and to disseminate results to local stakeholders, international scientists, and the general public through a variety of means.

Partnerships with the Yurok Tribe, an early career scientist, and scientists and local stakeholders as advisory board members are essential to guiding the project and generation of co-knowledge products. A strong engagement program will integrate listening sessions as coffee klatches, stakeholder workshops, and qualitative interviews with Tribal elders and a diverse set of stakeholders. Ecological research will focus on integrating existing and new datasets, resulting in new analysis and models of how the primary producers that fuel the food web respond to nutrient changes during and following dam removal. Socio-cultural research will focus on documenting the values, decision processes, and conceptualizations of the river and its people. Interdisciplinary research will integrate the ecological and socio-cultural research in a structured decision-making approach, resulting in new decision theory and tradeoff analyses that reflect diverse conceptualizations of the river and its management.

Read feature story.

  • Intensified co-culture of purple sea urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) and red seaweeds immobilized on mesh panels in land-based tanks in southern Oregon: providing ecological, economic, and cultural opportunities
    PI: Ford Evans, Oregon State University
    Other Investigators: Chris Langdon (OSU), Tom Calvanese (OSU), Jeffrey Griffin (Port of Bandon)

Summary: Over-grazing by expanding populations of purple sea urchins has decimated many Oregon kelp beds, resulting in expansive “urchin barrens.”  Urchins sourced from barrens typically have poor gonad quality with low market value. Collecting low-value urchins from resource-poor environments and “fattening” them in land-based tanks to improve roe (gonad) quality and quantity is one strategy to regain market value. This project will examine the efficacy of two novel technologies applied to land-based sea urchin fattening. The first will use of Pacific dulse as a nutritious food source to increase urchin gonad quantity/quality. The second is immobilization of seaweed fodder on panels to increase grazing surface area and urchin stocking density to maximize gonad production within culture tanks.  Objectives of this two-year project are:

  • Determine the nutritional value of cultured red seaweeds as fodder for purple urchins sourced from urchin barrens.
  • Determine if mesh panels can deliver fodder (seaweed) to urchins and provide grazing surface area to increase urchin stocking density in land-based tanks. 
  • Evaluate the economic feasibility and risk of scaled seaweed/ sea urchin co-culture.
  • Improve aquaculture literacy among coastal community members, industry, and academia; illustrate how aquaculture can sustainably provide food from the sea, locally and globally.

Experiments will be conducted at partnering farms in Bandon and Port Orford, OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, and OSU’s Port Orford Field Station. University, industry, tribal and community participation will strengthen ties among stakeholders interested in coastal economic development, extend relevant results to industry, and engage the public to increase aquaculture literacy and cultural awareness.  Deployment of innovative, cost-effective seaweed-urchin co-culture technologies, as proposed here, can also benefit coastal communities by increasing employment opportunities for urchin fishers through the harvest of otherwise unmarketable urchins and contribute to a resilient and diverse economy stemming from land-based aquaculture and feeding into seafood value chains embedded in coastal communities.

  • The Effects of EMFs on the Behavior of Marine Wildlife
    PI: Sarah Henkel, Oregon State University
    Other Investigators: Taylor Chapple (OSU), Kyle Newton (Washington University in St. Louis)

Summary: The demand for marine renewable energy, which harnesses the kinetic energy of offshore wind, waves, tides or currents and converts it into electricity, is growing worldwide. These installations transport the generated energy back to shore through high voltage cables (HVC), which can emit electromagnetic fields (EMF). Many marine species (e.g., sharks, rays, skates) detect bioelectric fields arising from the exchange of ions across the gills and the ventilatory movements of respiration to forage on prey, avoid predators, and locate conspecifics. These and other marine species are hypothesized to also detect the Earth’s magnetic field for navigation. EMFs produced by HVCs are known to be within the detection ranges of elasmobranchs, but the impact of the emitted and induced fields of EMF on receptive species is largely unknown. As the U.S. is on the cusp of significant investment in offshore wind and wave energy (OSU’s PacWave project and the commercial-scale Vineyard wind energy project received their FERC licenses in spring 2021), the need to understand the effects of EMFs on ecologically and economically important marine species is paramount.

This project will develop standardized behavioral protocols that will test how EMF-sensitive wildlife respond to the electrical and magnetic components of artificial EMF emissions and whether these stimuli disrupt natural behavior. The project will use non-invasive laboratory-based behavioral experiments in Longnose skate and Dungeness crab to quantify their minimum sensory thresholds, detection ranges, and behavioral responses to EMFs from HVCs. This project will be the foundation for future longitudinal studies that quantify EMF responses over phylogeny, ontogeny and more importantly, this model will establish a standardized framework for studies to understand the effects of marine renewable energy technology in other known electrically (e.g. green sturgeon) and magnetically (e.g. salmonid fishes) sensitive species of commercial and ecological importance in Oregon and abroad.

  • Science and partnerships to support a climate-ready Dungeness crab fishery in Oregon
    PI: Francis Chan, Oregon State University
    Other Investigators: Will White (OSU), Christopher Sullivan (OSU), Jeremy Childress (Sexton Co.), Steve Rumrill (ODFW), David Fox (ODFW), Troy Buell (ODFW), Kelly Corbett (ODFW)

Summary: Hypoxic events are now a recurring feature of the Oregon coast, impacting the state’s Dungeness crab fishery. Through a collaborative partnership between managers, university researchers and industry, this project seeks to close key knowledge and technology gaps that has limited the assessment of the risks posed by hypoxia, development of adaptation options, and transition to a climate-ready Dungeness crab fishery. This team proposes to develop a new low-cost crab pot camera system that can be deployed by fishermen to characterize tolerance of crabs to hypoxia and the thresholds for impacts. The camera system will be augmented by newly developed crab pot deployed dissolved oxygen sensor to capture crab abundance, size, and sex distribution and behavior patterns as a function of oxygen concentration. A targeted outcome is guidelines on appropriate soak times for crab pots that will allow fishermen to minimize the risk of in pot mortality in order to adapt to the current and projected intensification of hypoxia risk from climate change. The image data streams will be processed via an artificial intelligence analysis pipeline developed at OSU to enable high throughput, cost-effective in-situ population censusing. The expanded data availability will further enable empirical determination and monitoring of mortality rates and the development of a predictive index of recruitment into the fishery based on the abundance of year 2 and year 3 crabs. These products are of direct use to, and developed in consultation with the fishery. By increasing knowledge and capacity to detect, track and forecast changes in crab population dynamics, we seek to support the transition of the Dungeness crab fishery into a productive, sustainable, climate-ready fishery.

  • Predicting the Extreme Wave Run-up of Steep Natural and Engineered Cobble Beaches on the Oregon Coast
    PI: Greg Wilson, Oregon State University
    Other Investigators: Meagan Wengrove (OSU), Dorukhan Ardag (OSU)

Summary: This project seeks to develop new guidance on the design of dynamic cobble revetments, a form of Natural and Nature-Based Feature (NNBF) for coastal erosion protection, through improved understanding of sand-gravel beach morphology and wave run-up. Oregon’s Statewide Planning Goal 18 forbids implementing static structures on beach front properties that did not have static protection in place before the year 1977. NNBF are “non-structural” alternatives for coastal protection; dynamic revetments are one of the only suitable NNBF options for the Pacific Northwest open coast. Despite their potential, however, adoption of dynamic revetments as a protection strategy is currently limited by uncertainty around best-practices and performance over time.

This team will study how waves interact with mixed sand-gravel beach profiles, both natural and engineered, and the resulting sediment transport response. Seasonal beach evolution will also be investigated with the goal of understanding, and potentially predicting, fall to winter and winter to summer transitional variations in response to storms. The proposed research targets knowledge gaps at the basic-science, policy making, and community levels, by providing empirical evidence about the protection dynamic revetments provide, and thus their viability as a robust NNBF alternative. The biggest gap in knowledge surrounding dynamic revetment design that exist in the Pacific Northwest is the prediction of wave run-up variability and the estimation of needed cobble volume for dynamic revetment stability. Expected project outcomes are:

  • Establishing an updated wave run-up formula relevant to dynamic revetments
  • Identifying seasonal changes at four natural sand-cobble and dynamic revetment sites along the Oregon coast
  • Establishing an Engineering Guidance for Evaluating Run-up on Dynamic Revetments for coastal engineers and geologists and an educational brochure for community members in the context of dynamic revetment planning and design.


  • The controls and possible responses to mud blister worms in Oregon’s estuaries
    PI: George Waldbusser, Oregon State University
    Other Investigators: Steve Rumrill (ODFW), Sam Chan (OSG)

Summary: Mud blister worms (MBWs) are a global issue for oyster growers, they damage shells, making half-shell oysters unmarketable in some cases, lower meat yields, and affect profitability. Within the past five years, MBWs have emerged in oyster farms across the Pacific Northwest. Some farms in Oregon have seen greater than 90% infestation rates, whereas other farms have only seen infestation rates of ~5%. Despite the persistence of MBWs in many places globally, there has been only marginal convergence on the controls of MBW outbreak and treatment. The proposed work in this project will extend monitoring activities at oyster farms, conduct field experiments, laboratory experiments, and employ a comprehensive outreach and engagement plan to support oyster growers in Oregon. The continuation of bi-annual field surveys provides key insights for growers and managers about prevalence within and among farms, and through time. Those surveys will be expanded to measures of oyster tissue quality and yield. Transplant experiments will take clean shells grown in each of three study estuaries and move them to the other two. These experiments will allow us to determine whether properties of shells from different systems makes them differentially susceptible to infestation, or whether infestation rates are intrinsic to a given estuary. Developing successful mitigation and management strategies is dependent on understanding whether estuaries are differentially susceptible. Laboratory experiments will evaluate environmental and culture factors under controlled conditions that affect MBW shell infection. Salinity, temperature, and ocean acidification will be evaluated in one set of experiments to determine environmental controls, and sediment presence versus emersion in a second set of experiments, to evaluate culture controls. The outreach and engagement plan integrates stakeholder groups through various mechanisms, as well as conducting two focus groups to evaluate consumer perception, including blind taste tests, and discussions on strategies to maximize market potential for affected oysters.

  • Expanding Use of The Watershed Game in Oregon
    PI: Cait Goodwin, OSU, Oregon Sea Grant

  • Creating Science Communication Fellowships
    PI: Tracy Crews, OSU, Oregon Sea Grant

  • Establishing macroalgae on the U.S. Pacific coast as a nutritious food source
    PI: Jung Kwon, OSU, Seafood Research & Education Center, COMES

  •  Living Islands GoFish PI Ambassadors Camp: Supporting food security and expanding seafood access through inclusive and culturally appropriate experiential education for the Pacific Islander community in Oregon
    PI: Amanda Gladics, OSU, Oregon Sea Grant

  • Associations Between PFAS and Urogenital Cancer in Non-Stranded California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus)
    PI: Sarah Rothenbeg, OSU, College of Public Health and Human Sciences

  • Coastal Oregon Zooplankton Investigation (COZI): An Interdisciplinary Approach to Understanding Microfiber Impacts on Gray Whale Prey in the Context of Climate Change
    PI: Susanne Brander, OSU, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences

  • Nearshore Species’ Response to Anthropogenic Noise
    : Sarah Henkel, OSU, Department of Integrative Biology

  • Marine Renewable Energy Beyond the Grid
    : Hilary Boudet, OSU, School of Public Policy

  • Microplastics in Oregon’s waters: Connecting seafood studies to policy solutions
    : Elise Granek, Environmental Science & Management, Portland State University
  • Kelp forests on the Oregon Coast: the foundation that links and supports healthy coastal ecosystems and economy
    : Aaron Galloway, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, University of Oregon
  • Resilience of Klamath River ecosystems and coastal communities prior to, during, and following dam removal
    : Desiree Tullos, Biological & Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University
  • Reducing microplastic pollution from runoff in urban watersheds
    Jordyn Wolfand, Shiley School of Engineering, University of Portland
  • The aquaculture explorer platform: Integrated spatial financial tools to catalyze aquaculture investment
    The overarching goal of the Sea Grant proposal is to enhance the investment, collaboration, and education supporting aquaculture investment and development in Oregon, the West Coast, and the United States. This project has five major objectives:
    1) Using the Oregon Aquaculture Explorer Platform, identify spatial resources, limitations, and policies associated with aquaculture development across all aquaculture seascapes and landscapes. This will require adding additional GIS layers as well as broadening the Aquaculture Explorer to include the estuarine and marine environments.
    2) Develop 5-7 additional pre-investment financial system models that include estuarine and marine shellfish, algae, and finfish models to integrate into the full set of applicable instruments that are part of the Aquaculture Explorer toolbox.
    3) In conjunction with the Explorer, develop and implement a diverse range of outreach strategies that will contribute to the continued education of potential aquaculture investors and other stakeholders including online tools, workshops, and conferences.
    4) Strengthen West Coast aquaculture industry associations including the Oregon Aquaculture Association, supporting coordination, networking, and close collaboration in Oregon and other western coastal states to enhance aquaculture investment, development, and education.
    5) Broaden the engagement and networking within Oregon State University and between the university and other key aquaculture institutions while solidifying the institutionalization of the Explorer Platform so that it is accessible to intramural and external stakeholders as well as being linked to the outreach efforts of OAA. This will include supporting OSU’s ongoing efforts to improve faculty collaboration and aquaculture partnerships in research and education, as well as using the Platform tools to improve economic and financial training in undergraduate and graduate aquaculture courses.
    PI: Gil Syliva, OSU
    Read More
  • From genes to dunescapes: genetic and ecological consequences of a new “super beachgrass” hybrid for US Pacific Northwest coast ecosystem services
    We will study a new hybrid formed between two invasive congeneric beachgrasses, Ammophila arenaria and A. breviligulata, on the US Pacific Northwest (PNW) coast. The hybrid has characteristics that suggest it could be a “super beachgrass” with hybrid vigor. By genetically verifying the new hybrid and the effect on the genetics and ecology of dune-building beachgrasses, we will explore an emerging and unstudied management issue that could have profound consequences for ecosystem services of the PNW coast. Laboratory and field studies will determine the genetics, morphology, growth rate, and species interactions of the hybrid compared to the parent species, while modeling will project how the hybrid beachgrass could affect coastal protection,carbon sequestration, and biodiversity of PNW dunes. Through our outreach efforts, we will connect this information to key stakeholders and utilize their efforts and expertise to collect data on the scope of the hybridization and possible management and policy responses.
    PI: Sally Hacker, OSU Integrative Biology
    Read story  Journal article
  • 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 
    View West Coast Groundfish story map

  • 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
    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
    Peer review journal: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms

  • Network Development for PRIMED: Primary Responders in Marine Emergent Diseases
    PI: Sarah Gravem, OSU, Department of Integrative Biology
  • iCrab Dance & Coding: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Teaching High School Students about Coastal Hypoxia
    : Darryl Thomas, Western Oregon University, Professor of Dance
    Watch video of camp
  • A self-subsidizing fishery? What are Oregon Dungeness crab eating and can we quantify the value of bait contributions?
    PI: Sarah Henkel, OSU, Department of Integrative Biology
  • Oregon Kelp Alliance (ORKA) - Coordination & Communication Support
    PI: Tom Calvanese, OSU, Port Orford Field Station
  • Testing Oregon Coast Chum Salmon for resistance to infection by Ceratonova shasta genotypes
    PI: Julie Alexander, OSU, Department of Microbiology
  • The Development of a Pilot Aquatic Safety Program in Curry County, with an Emphasis on Preventive Measures, Education, and Data Collection
    PI: Frank Burris, Oregon Sea Grant, and Luke Martinez, Curry County
  • Interactive effects of ocean acidification and warming on coastal fish: do parents prepare their offspring?
    Jessica Miller, OSU, Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station
  • Envisioning a resilient Oregon coast: Co-developing alternative futures for adaptation planning and decision-making.
    Description: This 3-year project is built on the premise that significant gains toward adaptation and hazard resilience can be realized by examining - and assigning value to - common resilience decisions and their trade-offs at varying scales (communities, counties, and the entire state). A transdisciplinary research team will develop, apply, and assess a transferable framework to improve coastal community adaptation and resilience to chronic and acute coastal hazards. This framework will combine deep stakeholder engagement, a powerful alternative futures model, and robust evaluation of policy and coastal hazard scenarios through expertise in natural sciences (geomorphology, coastal hazards), social sciences (environmental and resource economics, land use planning and urban ecology), engineering (civil infrastructure), and computer science (mathematical modeling). The project goal is to apply a transferable framework to increase adaptation and resilience planning within Oregon’s coastal communities.
    PI: Peter Ruggiero, OSU CEOAS
    Journal articles: Water 2021, Journal of Infrastructure Systems 2022
    Media: Blog 2018, Feature story 2021, Feature story 2022; Radio interview 2022; Oregon Coastal Futures LEAF Celebration 6/27/23
  • Intensified Aquaculture of Clonal Red Macroalgae on Panels Deployed in Land-Based Raceways and Marine Waters.
    Gregory Rorrer, OSU, School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering (2018-21) 
    Journal article, Journal article, Journal article
  • Probiotic Solutions to Improve Pacific Oyster Larval Growth and Spat Settlement.
    PI: Carla Schubiger, OSU, Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine (2018-21)
    Journal article Aquaculture 2022
  • Perceived Risks and Concerns of Domoic Acid Neurotoxicity in Oregon Razor Clam Harvesters
    Molly Kile, OSU, College of Public Health and Human Sciences and Lynn Gratton, University of Maryland
  • Using Marine Science Anchoring Phenomena to Build a Marine Research and Educator Alliance that Fosters Ocean Literacy (OR SEA)
    Lisa Blank, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon Coast STEM Hub
  • Public Views of Fossil Fuel Export
    Hilary Boudet, OSU,  School of Public Policy
    Journal article
  • Exploring the Edge of the Pacific: Integrating science and literature education strategies to develop the next generation of coastal stewards
    Cait Goodwin, OSU, Oregon Sea Grant,
  • Health assessment tool for emerging sablefish aquaculture
    Carla Schubiger, OSU, Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine
    Journal article
  • Screening for novel antimicrobial peptides for pathogenic bacteria in aquatic species
    : Jung Kwon, OSU, Seafood Research & Education Center, COMES
  • Targeted recruitment activities to diversify the applicant pools and increase the success rates of underrepresented minorities applying to Oregon Sea Grant Scholar and Fellow programs
    : Jenny Engels, OSU, Oregon Sea Grant
  • Customer service training for coastal Oregon businesses.
    PI: Frank Burris, OSU Extension Service and Oregon Sea Grant
  • Voices of resilience in coastal fishing communities.
    Flaxen Conway, OSU, Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon State University School of Public Policy
    Video 1, Video 2, Video 3
  • Developing effective curriculum on tsunami preparedness for coastal businesses on the Oregon coast.
    Pat Corcoran, Oregon Sea Grant
  • Fresh/frozen seafood outreach pilot project.
    Jamie Doyle, Oregon Sea Grant
  • Understanding Oregon Sea Grant’s Historical Connections to Cultural Groups
    PI: Jenny East, Oregon Sea Grant
  • Integration of the Arts and Marine Science: Evaluating Impacts of combined programming and developing tools for assessment
    Flaxen Conway, OSU, Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon State University School of Public Policy
  • Stress response of gray whales to seismic acoustic disturbance
    Leigh Torres, Oregon Sea Grant/OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Marine Mammal Institute
    Read story
    Peer review articles: Frontiers in Marine Science 2021, Marine Mammal Science 2021, Conservation Physiology 2020
  • Distribution and ecology of the pelagic tunicate Pyrosoma atlanticum in the northern California Current during the 2017 bloom
    Kelly Sutherland, University of Oregon, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology
    Journal article
  • Threespine stickleback as a powerful new biomonitoring tool for near shore and estuarine habitats on the Oregon coast
    Ann Petersen, Oregon State University – Cascades, Biology
  • A first step in identifying adaptation pathways for socially and environmentally sustainable scenarios to address flooding in Tillamook County, Oregon
    Melissa Haeffner, Portland State University, Environmental Science & Management
    Read News Release, Journal article
  • Building Capacity for Fishermen First Aid and Safety Training
    Viktor Bovbjerg, Oregon State University
  • Music as a Conduit for Science Awareness and Enjoyment
    Jerri Bartholomew, Oregon State University
  • Changes in Oregon's nearshore fish assemblages, through the eyes of scientists and fishermen.
    Description: This project brings together fishermen’s knowledge to augment and complement scientific surveys on fish assemblages, or groupings, in the nearshore. A team of Oregon fishermen, managers, and scientists will generate information on nearshore fish assemblages by combining local and scientific knowledge, representing the state’s first use of these paired techniques. The resulting information will be used to characterize coastal fish assemblages over the past five decades and to inform fishermen, scientists, and managers about the use and sustainability of these habitats.
    PI: Lorenzo Ciannelli, OSU CEOAS
    Thesis: Rebecca Howard; Anja Sjostrom
    Peer-Reviewed Articles: Marine Policy 131 2021Fisheries Oceanography, 2021
  • Effects of ocean acidification on behavior, development, and nutritional value of newly recruited coastal Dungeness crab.
    Description: Researchers will investigate sublethal ocean acidification (OA) effects on young Dungeness crab in a series of laboratory experiments to quantify body condition and growth, shell formation, molt rates, survival, escape and feeding behavior responses to current and future OA levels on the Pacific coast. Researchers will also partner with Oregon crab fishermen to capture adult crabs along the southern Oregon coast and evaluate their diets and body condition, as well as assess juvenile crab vulnerability to predation by older Dungeness crabs (i.e., cannibalism) and the effects of OA on the crabs’ ability to find potential food sources, including common baits used by fishermen.
    PI: Aaron Galloway, UO Oregon Institute of Marine Biology
  • Linkages between forestry practices and Oregon's estuarine shellfish.
    Description: Researchers will track concentrations of forestry-related aquatic contaminants in estuarine shellfish commonly consumed by humans (e.g., oysters and softshell clams) in several coastal watersheds dominated by different forest management regimes. An engaged stakeholder group representing diverse end-users will help frame the issue and guide the project. Ultimately the research team seeks to clarify connections between forest management regimes and contaminants in estuarine shellfish to inform future forestry policy discussion. The project will also inform oyster growers and softshell clam harvesters about spatially variable shellfish contamination, to better manage risk and future growing or harvesting.
    PI: Elise Granek, PSU, Environmental Science & Management
    Peer-Reviewed Articles: Science of the Total Environment 2021, Toxics 2021, Hydrobiologia 2023
    Feature Stories: August 2018, March 2021
  • Oregon's Seafood Processing Workforce: The connection between demographic change, opportunities and challenges, and community resilience.
    Description: Through a case study focused on the Coos Bay/North Bend/Charleston region, which has a wide range of seafood processing operations and emergent demographic change, the research team will address the question, “What keeps seafood processing work vital, and how does this connect to coastal community vitality?” Objectives include collecting baseline data on changes in community demographics; documenting ongoing shifts in the demographic composition of the seafood processing workforce; identifying how workers manage challenges associated with the unpredictability and seasonality of seafood processing work; and identifying connections between resilience, adaptive capacity, and vitality of the seafood processing workforce and the broader community.
    PI: Marta Maldonado, OSU Ethnic Studies
  • Determining the response of Oregon pink shrimp larvae to ocean acidification and warming.
    Description: The research team will assess how ocean acidification and warming influence the survival, development, condition, behavior, and metabolism of pink shrimp, from hatching eggs through the post-larval stage. The data will be used to define pink shrimp ocean acidification and temperature thresholds (i.e., possible tipping points which, once crossed, have large ecological consequences). The research team will also determine whether citizen-science staining tools, adapted from previous staining kits for juvenile oysters, are applicable for shrimp and valuable to managers and to the fishing fleet.
    PI: George Waldbusser, OSU CEOAS