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Ecological baselines for Oregon's coast: a report for agencies that manage Oregon's coastal habitats for ecological and economic sustainability, and for all who are interested in the welfare of wildlife that inhabit our coast and its estuaries

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dc.creator Hall, Roberta L.
dc.creator Ebert, Thomas A.
dc.creator Gilden, Jennifer S.
dc.creator Hatch, David R.
dc.creator Mrakovcich, Karina Lorenz
dc.creator Smith, Courtland L.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-05-09T18:11:51Z
dc.date.available 2012-05-09T18:11:51Z
dc.date.issued 2012-04
dc.identifier.citation Hall, R.L. et al. 2012. Ecological Baselines for Oregons Coasts. Corvallis: Oregon State University. 79 pp. en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1957/29084
dc.description.abstract Against the backdrop of growing concern about dead zones, rare and endangered sea mammals, depletion of Oregon’s once‐abundant fish stocks, acidification threatening coastal molluscs, and proposals for marine reserves along Oregon’s coastline, a multidisciplinary group of scientists was called together in 2008 to discuss what is known about Oregon’s coastal resources at specific points in the past. They agreed that knowing more about the condition of resources in the past could help state resource agencies understand its ecological potential and such information would be useful in planning restoration projects as well as determining gaps in knowledge that need to be filled. Called together by John Meyer, representing Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS), the group decided to develop an “Ecological Baselines” report on past coastal resources at whatever times empirical data exist. We begin this report with a chapter reviewing archaeological, ethnographic, and historic materials to provide a picture of Oregon’s coastal resources before 1750. Subsequent chapters consider salmon, sea otters, and sub‐tidal sea urchins. The salmon chapter provides details on twentieth century abundance and decline of one of Oregon’s most charismatic and economically important ocean resources. This chapter’s authors also evaluate remedies that have attempted to restore salmon species. Next, the sea otter chapter describes a mammal once abundant but no longer present on the Oregon coast, and discusses what the coast has lost by its demise. A decade ago, the author, a descendant of Aleut and Coos/Siuslaw natives, organized a multi‐disciplinary project, named The Elakha Alliance, to study and consider restoration of this keystone species. The sub‐tidal purple sea urchin, described in our fourth chapter, in contrast to salmon and otter, is so small that the intense labor required to harvest it has protected it from commercial harvesting. However, the urchin is affected by all the forces that impinge on the coast’s ecological web, and warming seas could affect its ability to survive along Oregon’s coast. Not all developments in the past decades have been negative. We discuss major estuary restoration projects on the Salmon River and the Coquille River that show how restoration is working in these areas and that suggest how other estuary restorations could proceed. On Tuesday Feb. 22, 2012, the Oregon legislature passed a bill that will add 38 square miles of marine reserves in Oregon’s territorial waters at five locations. And in our final section, the epilogue discusses a significant new paradigm for understanding the process of ecological collapse, beginning with the removal of top consumers – keystone predators. This multi‐authored review, published in Science in 2011, thereby suggests ecosystem wide strategies for restoration and stability (Estes et al., 2011). Our report on historical, ecological baselines is only a first step in a compilation of information on significant coastal resources that we believe could encourage additional research and longterm strategies for restoration. en_US
dc.description.tableofcontents 1- Baselines for Oregon's coastal resources; 2- Prehistoric baselines; 3- Shifting salmon baselines; 4- The sea otter along the Oregon coast; 4- Reflections on baselines and restoration en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Oregon State University en_US
dc.relation North Coast Explorer en_US
dc.subject Oregon coast - anthropology en_US
dc.subject Oregon coast - ethnography en_US
dc.subject Oregon coast - history en_US
dc.subject Coastal salmon en_US
dc.subject Sea otters en_US
dc.subject Purple sea urchin en_US
dc.subject Salmon River en_US
dc.subject Coquille River en_US
dc.title Ecological baselines for Oregon's coast: a report for agencies that manage Oregon's coastal habitats for ecological and economic sustainability, and for all who are interested in the welfare of wildlife that inhabit our coast and its estuaries en_US
dc.type Technical Report en_US
dc.description.digitization PDF en_US


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