2018 Coastal Field Trips

Coastal Field Trips: Wednesday, August 1, 2018


1. Haystack Rock and Cape Falcon Marine Reserve

Depart from PSU; 7:30 am– 4:30 pm

During the Haystack Rock tidepool tour, participants will learn about the abundance of marine life found at Haystack Rock and the Haystack Rock Awareness Program, in its 33rd season, which focuses on positive, marine-based educational experiences through hands on learning, citizen science, art, inclusivity and stewardship. Having educated over one million visitors, HRAP Staff and Volunteers know that life on the coastal edge is rarely easy for marine animals, but unique adaptabilities have made life in this incredibly beautiful and diverse place a possibility. Learn more during this up-close journey through the rocky intertidal wonderland found at Haystack Rock. Enjoy the awe-inspiring seabirds who nest at the Rock. Furthermore, learn about ways in which you can be a better steward of this unique place and how local citizens are making positive impacts through inventive art and science initiatives.

Located in the ocean between Manzanita and Cannon Beach, Oregon, the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve site is a 20 square mile area dedicated to conservation and scientific research. Just like parks and protected natural areas on land, there are multiple benefits of protected areas in the ocean. They conserve ocean wildlife and biodiversity. Marine Reserves sites also serve as living laboratories, where we can learn about marine reserve protections and Oregon’s ocean environment to help us maintain our seas for future generations. The marine reserve is managed by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The Friends Group is comprised of volunteer citizens and organizations working to increase understanding and appreciation of the marine reserve. The Friends coordinate education events and promote scientific research in the area through a number of citizen science projects.

Participants will take a fun hike out to Audubon’s monitoring site at Devil’s Cauldron in Oswald West State Park where they will eat a boxed lunch from PSU.  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 ElkFlats 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. Please wear sturdy shoes, dress for coastal Oregon weather, and bring water.

Participants have the option of an alternative shorter, easier stroll from the Short Sands Parking lot down to the beach where they will discover be lead on a “foraging” tour down to Short Sands. This tour will detail local edible plants. Other biodiversity will be detailed as participants meander the short walk down to the beach.


2. Haystack Rock and Wildlife Center of the North Coast

Depart from PSU; 7:30 am– 4:30 pm

During the Haystack Rock tidepool tour, participants will learn about the abundance of marine life found at Haystack Rock and the Haystack Rock Awareness Program, in its 33rd season, which focuses on positive, marine-based educational experiences through hands on learning, citizen science, art, inclusivity and stewardship. Having educated over one million visitors, HRAP Staff and Volunteers know that life on the coastal edge is rarely easy for marine animals, but unique adaptabilities have made life in this incredibly beautiful and diverse place a possibility. Learn more during this up-close journey through the rocky intertidal wonderland found at Haystack Rock. Enjoy the awe-inspiring seabirds who nest at the Rock. Furthermore, learn about ways in which you can be a better steward of this unique place and how local citizens are making positive impacts through inventive art and science initiatives.

After an incredible tide pool tour at Haystack Rock, participants will travel up to the Necanicum estuary in Seaside, where they will break for lunch. Binoculars will be provided for participants to use to observe wildlife and spot various birds who are often seen in this diverse ecosystem. Expert local birders, will assist participants in spotting birds and will detail various wildlife found at this location.

Upon leaving the Necanicum estuary, participants will travel up to the Wildlife Center of the North Coast to explore their facilities and view many of their successfully recovered birds. The Wildlife Center of the North Coast (WCNC) is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Astoria, Oregon. They rescue and rehabilitate injured, sick, orphaned and displaced native wildlife with the goal of releasing healthy, strong creatures back into their appropriate habitat. The WCNC is the only wildlife care hospital on the Central and North Oregon coast, serving communities from as far south as Newport, OR all the way up to the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington. The center specializes in seabird rehabilitation, but provides professional medical care for all native wild birds and mammals needing our help. They receive an average of 2,000 patients annually.  A variety of seabirds, raptors, ducks, songbirds and mammals come through our doors every year, each in need of some kind of care.  Whether injured, sick, starving or orphaned, the center works hard to take care of their every need, get them healthy, and released back into the wild where they belong.