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Events Science and Conservation of Sea Otters

Art on the Beach – Lincoln City, OR (7/17/22)

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We’ve partnered with the Cascade Head Biosphere Collaborative for their 2nd Annual Art on the Beach!

To celebrate one of the world’s rare biospheric reserves, scientists, artists, and the public will gather on the Oregon beach to talk, learn, and create images in the sand.

The Cascade Head Biosphere Collaborative (CHBC) has announced its second annual “Art on the Beach” weekend, a three-day event running July 16-18. This celebration brings together community science and artistic expression to raise awareness regarding the interdependence of humans on the oceans, as well as the impacts of climate change on coastal communities and the environment. With the help of partners Chinook Winds Casino Resort, The Elakha Alliance, community volunteers, and visiting guest artist Josie Iselin, this year’s events highlight kelp forests, sea otters and the crucial role they play in marine ecosystems.

This year, attendees and volunteers can look forward to a wider range of activities to participate in, from sea-star monitoring to sand-art raking a 100-yard long Bull Kelp and Sea Otter design. “Sand is the perfect canvas for everyone to be able to enjoy large scale art that illuminates the beauty and function of the ocean and how its amazing creatures are related to each of our lives,” said Duncan Berry, CHBC co-director and co-founder.

Sea star monitoring will occur during the extreme low tide at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 16, at the tidepools at the far north end of Lincoln City’s Roads End beach. Scientists and volunteers will measure how quickly Ochre Sea Stars are rebounding after a wasting disease swept through their ranks. Look for the informational tables to learn more and how you can help with the CHBC “Wrack Line,” another community science research project.

The first sand-raking event will take place on Sunday, July 17, from 9:30 a.m. to noon on the beach in front of the Chinook Winds Casino Resort (entrance to Art on the Beach is free). CHBC is proud to partner with Josie Iselin, a renowned San Francisco-based artist and seaweed expert, as well as the Elakha Alliance, which is a non-profit working to reintroduce sea otters back to their native waters in order to create a more robust and resilient marine ecosystem. “Art is an excellent medium to instill a sense of appreciation for the natural world around us. We’re thrilled to help promote ocean conservation through this creative project with the Cascade Head Biosphere Collaborative,” said Chanel Hason, director of outreach and community relations for the Elakha Alliance. 

Later that day, the collaborative will offer a “Forests of the Sea” seaweed printing and educational workshop at the Lincoln City Cultural Center from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. It will feature cyanotype/solar printing and will be offering gyotaku technique of printing seaweeds and the creatures that inhabit the near shore. The cost of this gyotaku and solar print workshop is $60.

On Sunday evening, the CHBC and its partners at Oregon State University’s Marine Studies Initiative and the Elakha Alliance will be hosting an “Art and Science” presentation from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Lincoln City Cultural Center. This will be an immersion into the amazing undersea world of the kelp forests and the effort of re-introducing sea otters that are so key to their long term health. This event is free and open to the public.

Lastly, on Monday, July 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the artists and rakers will return to the beach in front of the casino to depict giant Ochre sea stars marching down the beach.

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Events Science and Conservation of Sea Otters

Webinar: Art + Science + Kelp Forests (7/20/21)

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Using Creative Storytelling To Showcase Kelp Forests

Three researchers from interdisciplinary fields of geography, photography, and design advocate for the prosperity of Pacific kelp forests in a webinar hosted by the Elakha Alliance. Kyle Cavanaugh, Patrick Webster, and Emma Akmakdjian discuss the role of perspective in creating stories that spotlight the kelp forests’ return to ecosystem balance, especially with the reintroduction of sea otters.

Kyle Cavanaugh is an Assistant Professor of Geography at UCLA who helped lead the project Floating Forests that uses NASA satellite imagery and UAV technology to map the density and dispersal of kelp forests worldwide. He studies the drivers and consequences of changes in coastal foundation species such as giant kelp forests and mangroves. He is especially interested in what controls large-scale changes in the distribution and abundance of these species. Much of his research utilizes remote sensing (e.g. satellite, aerial, and UAV imagery) to document ecological change over large space and time scales. Visit Kelpwatch to learn more about his most recent kelp research with The Nature Conservancy, UCLA, and UCSB.

Patrick Webster is an underwater photographer based in Monterey, California, capturing imagery of the central coast kelp forests and their inhabitants. He is the social media content creator for the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Emma Akmakdjian is a graduate student and artist at the Design Media Arts Department at UCLA, working to communicate the importance of kelp forests in human and non-human cultures.

This webinar will take place for free on Tuesday July 20th, at 6:00pm PDT. Register below for the Zoom link.

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Events Science and Conservation of Sea Otters

Webinar: Dive into a Changing Ecosystem: Kelp Forests & Urchin Barrens (6/24/21)

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What Can We Learn From California’s Ever-Changing Kelp Forest Ecosystem?

Photo: Kate Vylet, Monterey Bay

We are excited to invite Kate Vylet, underwater photographer, scientific diver, and divemaster anchored in Monterey Bay, California, and Josh Smith, Ph.D. Candidate and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California Santa Cruz to speak at our upcoming webinar.

Tucked along California’s coast is a vibrant underwater forest of towering kelp and diverse wildlife. In the last six years, unprecedented outbreaks of purple sea urchins have decimated kelp forests within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, lending several questions: What caused the urchin outbreak? How have sea otters responded? Will intervention and urchin culling enhance kelp recovery? Through underwater photography and observations by Kate Vylet, and a scientific discussion by Josh Smith, this talk will outline how science, art, and community observation intersect to inform the path forward.

This topic correlates directly with the Elakha Alliance’s efforts to reintroduce sea otters on the Oregon coast, where we are also experiencing similar ecological shifts with urchin barrens.

This webinar will take place for free on Thursday June 24th, at 6:30pm PST. Register at the bottom of the page for the Zoom link.

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Events Science and Conservation of Sea Otters

Webinar: Underwater Photography in the Kelp Forest w/ Brent Durand (5/13/21)

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Dive into the Underwater World with Brent Durand

Brent Durand is an avid scuba diver, surfer, writer, photographer and marketer living in Northern California. He has been scuba diving for nearly 25 years and shooting underwater photos for 10 years. The Elakha Alliance is thrilled to invite Brent to present on underwater photography best practices and to share his firsthand experiences diving within various kelp forest ecosystems.
 
Brent’s work is published in print worldwide, in advertising, and across the web. And while he has hosted photo workshops in many exotic locations around the globe, the vast majority of his diving is in the kelp forests at home. Brent has spent years documenting the kelp forest ecosystem, its inhabitants, and dive adventures from the shore, kayaks and even stand up paddle boards. Learn more and view his photos at BrentDurand.com