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Large Event at N. Oregon Coast's Oswald West Includes Hikes, Science, BBQ

Published 05/16/2017 at 6:23 AM PDT - Updated 05/16/2017 at 3:23 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Celebration at N. Oregon Coast's Oswald West Includes Hikes, Science, BBQ

(Manzanita, Oregon) – UPDATED: to include more event info. The celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Beach Bill begin to reach a fevered pitch, with a shindig on the north Oregon coast that is all about nature. The Surfrider Foundation Portland Chapter and the Friends of Cape Falcon Marine Reserve have together to present an event that focuses on citizen science and a chance to learn all about that which makes up Oswald West State Park and the Cape Falcon Reserve.

It all takes place on May 20 at Oswald West State Park near Manzanita. Called Oswald West Action Day, it boasts a variety of fun and knowledge-filled events, including a barbecue, surfing, a “hands across the sand” photo shoot and presentations on the monitoring and protection work that goes on at in the area.

This is, after all, the park named for the man who first set into motion the free and accessible beaches of the Oregon coast, by declaring all the beaches public property some 100 years ago.

It all starts at 10 a.m. with a meet-n-greet and an introduction to the day at the lower parking lot at Short Sands. At 10:30 a.m. there will be citizen science adventures at or around Oswald West State Park.

At half past noon it's the Hands Across the Sands ( photo shoot. From 12:45 p.m. to 2 p.m. there's the free barbecue with locally-sourced at the picnic area (or possibly a later gathering at Public Coast Brewing in Cannon Beach if the weather is bad).

The citizen science portion is a choose-your-own-adventures concept. You can pick from a variety of hikes, walks by the ocean or a hunt for sea stars. These are:

Seabird Monitoring and hike on the Coastal Edge: Join Audubon Society of Portland and Friends of Cape Falcon Marine Reserve for a fun hike out to Audubon’s monitoring site at Devil’s Cauldron in Oswald West State Park. Devil’s Cauldron is a short (0.25 miles), easy hike open to all ages. Experience the unique story of our coastline, from natural history to ongoing land and ocean conservation activities, including the new Cape Falcon Marine Reserve and Audubon Society of Portland’s efforts to monitor seabirds.

If you’re up for more, continue on Elk Flats Trail for a 1.5-mile moderate to difficult hike to Short Sands Beach and the rest of the day’s festivities. The Elk Flats Trail, which leads hikers through a variety of forest structures, stunning old growth trees, and to vistas of the marine reserve, is steep in some sections. Hikers should prepare for slick, muddy trails and to scamper over and under sizable fallen trees. You'll want to wear sturdy shoes, dress for Oregon coast weather, and bring water.

Clean Beaches and Water: Surfrider Foundation and CoastWatch are teaming up at the beautiful Falcon Cove Beach to highlight efforts to keep our waterways and beaches clean. Explore the monitoring sites at Falcon Cove Beach and learn about the Blue Water Task Force program and marine debris monitoring efforts going on coast wide. Discover where the trash on our beaches is coming from, how you can get involved, and all the partners that are contributing from local volunteers to schools to national organizations. If you haven’t spent time on Falcon Cove Beach, this is a great opportunity to view this remote coastal beach along the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve. Where to stay for this event - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

Short Sand Intertidal Exploration Tour: Discover the amazing creatures living along the coastal edge. Hunting for sea stars will be the main objective during this outing highlighting the impacts of Sea Star Wasting Syndrome. Haystack Rock Awareness Program and The Nature Conservancy will team up to take participants on a tour of the rocky intertidal areas at Short Sand beach. These organizations support coast wide and local efforts to monitor sea star populations. Recent surveys have shown a decrease in diseased animals and the first signs of the populations recovering.

Along the way, you never know what you will discover: from dueling anemones, a sea star's patient hunt for its next meal, to predatory snails. It’s literally another world.

This event is part of the Explore Nature series of hikes, walks, paddles and outdoor adventures. Explore Nature events are hosted by a consortium of volunteer community and non-profit organizations, and are meaningful nature-based experiences highlight the unique beauty of Tillamook County and the work being done to preserve and conserve the area’s natural resources and natural resource-based economy. Learn more at

Register for the event on Eventbrite: - - Where to stay for this event - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

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