The biggest challenge of the 21st Century is the topic of a Thursday, Jan. 17, lecture at Newport’s Oregon Coast Community College as local activists Bill Kucha and Evan Hayduk share their perspectives on climate change.

Their joint presentation, “Shedding a Scientific and Humanitarian Light on Climate Change,” is the latest offering from the OCCC Foundation’s Williams Lecture Series, named in honor of former maritime history instructor William Appleman Williams.

Kucha is the founder of 350 Oregon Central Coast, an environmental group focusing on climate change. His talk will focus on the problems that society faces as climate change progresses. He will describe what specifically is being done in the US to address the issue as well as other steps that individuals and communities can take.

A resident of Lincoln County since 1976, Kucha has worked as an artist and as an art educator during that time, teaching at the college for 20 years.

Hayduk, a restoration specialist with the Midcoast Watersheds Council, will focus his talk on the changes that rising sea levels have in store for tidal wetlands.

“Tidal wetlands are important habitats for salmon and a diversity of other fish and wildlife species,” he said. “They also trap sediment, buffer coastal communities from flooding and erosion, and perform other valued ecosystem services.”

Hayduk said rising sea levels could force tidal wetland plant communities to move to areas of higher elevation known as “landward migration zones.” His presentation will share the results of a recent project that modeled and prioritized these future tidal wetlands, complete with local implications.

The Thursday, Jan. 17, lecture, which is free and open to all, starts at 7 pm, in the Community Room at the college’s Newport campus, 400 SE College Way.

For more information, call 541-994-4166 or go to

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