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Nature Walks, Talks at Oregon Coast Beach Bill Party in Cannon Beach

Published 06/21/2017 at 6:04 AM PDT - Updated 06/21/2017 at 6:09 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Nature Walks, Talks Part of Oregon Coast Beach Bill Party in Cannon Beach

(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – The next big day coming up for the Oregon coast is July 6. This is the date in 1967 Gov. Tom McCall signed the Oregon Beach Bill into existence, which preserved the state's entire shoreline for the public.

There have been bashes, celebrations and commemorations aplenty this year, as the landmark legislation hits 50 years old. One of the largest happens again in Cannon Beach on Thursday, July 6, as Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition and local partner Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) are sponsoring a special beachwalk, along with speakers and a party. There will be some warmup events the night before, however, on July 5.

The official party begins Thursday as participants gather at 1:30 p.m. at the Cannon Beach Community Hall (207 N. Spruce St.). After refreshments and a few brief remarks from Oregon Shores Executive Director Phillip Johnson, the crowd will head for the beach at approximately 2:15 p.m. They will be led by Cannon Beach resident and conservationist Ed Johnson, along with famed local filmmaker Stephen Grace, who is also an environmental activist and author.

This stroll along the shoreline will loop from just south of Ecola Creek, south to Haystack Rock, and then back to the Community Hall. One of the landmarks: the Surfsand Resort, where some pivotal moments of the campaign for the Beach Bill happened back in 1967. At the time, the then-owners had cordoned off part of the beach in front of the hotel and claimed it as its own.

Along the walk's route, several guides will provide expert commentary on the surroundings, including ecologist Stewart Schultz and a discussion of shoreline natural history, along with hiking author Bonnie Henderson.

Everyone returns to the Community Hall around 4 p.m., where talks will be given by various experts, including Bob Bailey - an Oregon Shores board member and former head of the state’s Coastal Management Program - on the history of the Beach Bill and coastal conservation in Oregon. Henderson (whose books include Strand: An Odyssey of Pacific Ocean Debris, and The Next Tsunami) will be speaking on the native trails and highways, leading into the history of the Oregon Coast Trail and its present status.

Refreshments will again be served, including beer donated by Public Coast Brewing Co. The party will continue until 6 p.m.

“We’re celebrating a key milestone in Oregon’s conservation history,” said Oregon Shores’ Phillip Johnson. “The Beach Bill’s 50th is a major event for everyone who cares about the Oregon coast. It’s important to know the history, and realize that only hard work by many dedicated citizens made it possible to pass the Beach Bill and preserve our public shoreline. We hope the result will be a renewed enthusiasm for the kind of citizen engagement we’ll need to protect our shoreline resources for the next 50 years.”

The night prior to the main events, on Wednesday, July 5, Oregon Shores and HRAP are warming up for the celebration with a public talk on beach ecology. The speaker will be ecologist Stewart Schultz, author of The Northwest Coast: A Natural History. Schultz will speak at 7 p.m. at the Cannon Beach Community Hall.

Schultz is a leading expert on the natural history of Pacific Northwest shorelines. Here, he will describe the ecosystems found upon and beneath the sand of the beach, a world less well-known than that of tidepools and rocky shores but equally fascinating.

The event is free and open to all. For information, contact Phillip Johnson, (503) 754-9303,; or Melissa Keyser, (503) 440-0266, Where to stay for this event - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

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