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Heather Fulton-Bennett

From sea star wasting disease to ocean acidification, our coastal ecosystems are changing in ways that might test their resilience.

At the Newport Visual Arts Center on Thursday, Sept. 5, the MidCoast Watersheds Council community meeting will begin with a public presentation, “Oregon’s Changing Ocean: What Kelp, Sea Stars, and Other Organisms Can Tell Us,” by Heather Fulton-Bennett of the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans. Fulton-Bennett will highlight some of the results of PISCO’s work focusing on the long term changes along our coasts, current efforts and what is expected in the future.

Founded as a partnership between Oregon State University, Stanford University and the Universities of California Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara, PISCO has been at the forefront of studying sea star wasting, marine protected areas, ocean acidification and hypoxia. Fulton-Bennett joined these efforts as a PhD candidate at Oregon State University. Her research focuses on the effect of ocean acidification on seaweeds in Oregon and New Zealand.

The presentation will begin at 6:30 pm in Room 205 on the upper floor of the Newport Visual Arts Center in Nye Beach, at 777 NW Beach Drive. Refreshments will be provided.

Get in the mood before the talk by visiting the VAC’s third floor gallery to check out the Wetland Conservancy’s traveling art exhibit, “Ode to Tides” from 4 to 6 pm. The display of original, northwest artwork in a variety of media recognizes the aesthetic and ecological significance of Oregon’s estuaries, tide pools and intertidal habitats.

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