The Elakha Alliance announces a call for donated art submissions for a silent auction fundraiser on September 28th, 2024 at the Yaquina Bay Yacht Club (Newport, OR) in honor of Sea Otter Awareness Week. Through the power of art, we seek to raise awareness about the importance of returning sea otters back to Oregon and their role in maintaining productive and diverse nearshore marine habitats.
The theme for this event is “Envisioning a Future with Sea Otters on the Oregon Coast.” We encourage artists to create art pieces that imagine a sustainable population of sea otters along the Oregon coast, and with their presence, a healthier and more resilient coastal ecosystem.
Sea otters have been missing from Oregon waters for over 100 years, a result of the maritime fur trade in the 18th and 19th centuries which nearly extirpated the species globally. As a keystone species, sea otters serve an important ecological role. In the kelp forests by preying on sea urchins and maintaining the health of these vital habitats that support a myriad of marine life. With kelp forests declining at an alarming rate due to ocean warming and over predation by sea urchins, sea otter reintroduction is being considered as part of a solution to help restore and maintain healthy nearshore ecosystems in Oregon. Sea otters are also culturally significant for Oregon’s coastal tribes.
Oregon is currently the only Pacific Coastal state without a sea otter population. It is time to return sea otters to Oregon and, in doing so, restore critical ecological and cultural connections which are important to us all.
Click the button below to learn how to participate in this fundraiser to help return sea otters to Oregon!