Explore a distinctive Oregon Coast ecosystem with the July 1 Netarts Spit Hike event

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Explore a distinctive Oregon Coast ecosystem with the July 1 Netarts Spit Hike event

Posted 6/21/22 5:47 PM PST
By the staff of the Oregon Coast Beach Connection

(Netarts, Oregon) – Getting down to business and hiking a major sand spit on Oregon’s northern coast – that’s what attendees await for a special event on July 1. It’s titled “Hike Netarts Spit: Dunes, Birds, and More,” and more is indeed what you’ll get out of this six-mile jaunt through one of the most beautiful and rugged stretches of sand. remotest in the region. (Photos Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

This formation created Netarts Bay, according to Friends of Netarts Bay/WEBS, the group that organizes this hiking event. It is an important buffer between the ocean and the bay and serves as a distinctive and integral ecosystem. Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS is partnering with Portland Audubon, Oregon State Parks and researchers at Oregon State University to share the story of the spit, how it formed and evolves, and how you can help scientists learn about plants and animals. using this unique coastal area of ​​Oregon.

Park rangers will be on hand to tell the story of this park and give you a deeper insight.

“The spit is a very vibrant place and ecosystem,” said Chrissy Smith, Executive Director of Friends of Netarts Bay. The further down you go, the more you immerse yourself in the beach, ocean and dunes. Just a month ago, on the advice of Portland Audubon, we found Snowy Plover tracks and scratches from nests. Snowy Plovers are listed as an endangered species. Portland Audubon recruited community volunteers to help search for birds and nests. Finding evidence of these birds on the spit is exciting as there hasn’t been a documented nest for many years.

OSU researchers are also interested in this stretch of wonder, engaging in ongoing work to map the various beach grasses that thrive on the dunes around the Oregon Coast. You’ll also hear from them as they join the walk to discuss native and non-native beach grasses, the importance of the type of beach grass, and what you can do to help scientists figure it out. learn more about how they spread and grow.

“Mapping each of the beach grasses, which differ in several important key traits, is essential to understanding how they will affect dune functions and services, such as dune shape, coastal protection and species diversity in the landscape. ‘Oregon,” said Risa Askerooth, a graduate student researcher. at USO. “You probably wouldn’t be able to recognize these dunes 100 years ago because invasive beach grasses have changed them so much. These beach grasses, which were intentionally planted, are causing dramatic changes by stabilizing the sand, improving the protection of coastlines and reducing the habitat of certain native species.

The hike is just over six miles to the end of the spit (12 miles round trip) and participants should expect to spend a full day exploring and hiking. If you’re not sure you want to commit to the full hike, Netarts Bay WEBS and its partners will schedule a few stops and offer the option of returning with volunteers to help people get to their cars.

It’s quite a beach trip: learn about plovers and seagrass monitoring efforts, and explore the spit and how it has changed over time.

Basics:

July 1 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

What to bring: Comfortable walking shoes, water, lunch and snacks are a must! Binoculars are strongly encouraged as the focus will be on the birds! The weather can change quickly along the coast, from hot to cool and windy, so bring the gear you need to stay comfortable.

Difficulty: Moderate + due to the length and challenges of walking on soft sand and wet sand. Participants may choose to participate in any portion of this event. This event will take place outdoors. If bad weather develops, an alternative plan will be communicated to registered participants.

Registration Required: Find the event registration list at www.netartsbaywebs.org/events

Cost: There is no cost to participate in this program. Donations are appreciated. From June 15 through September 15, all contributions will be matched by the Charles A. Becker Foundation to support our organization and programs. Learn more about the Friends of Netarts Bay WEBS Matching Gift Challenge at www.netartsbaywebs.org.

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