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MARINE SCIENCE DAY – HATFIELD MARINE SCIENCE CENTER, SOUTH BEACH
The former Seafest event has evolved into the first annual Hatfield Marine Science Day at the marine science center at South Beach. The day long exhibit of the many facets and academic investigations of our oceans, especially those close to home, was a treat for the whole family. The free event offered tidal pool explorations by young and old, an autopsy of a large sea turtle (reserved strictly for the strong of stomach), studies aimed at making Oregon fishing areas sustainable and how people can be prepared in the event of a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami. Other exhibits included the offshore “dead zones” that come and go with the weather and major currents, deep sea volcanoes, real time ocean condition measurements, development of wave energy systems and more.
Hatfield Marine Science Center’s Kaety Hildenbrand told News Lincoln County that Marine Science Day will be an ongoing annual effort to bring the community into the science center, to show its value and academic vibrance and goals of research and stewardship of our off shore and river environments. She said it’s especially important for children and young people to be exposed to the growing significance of the Hatfield Marine Science Center, coupled with the newly arrived National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s new Pacific Marine Headquarters, now based in Newport. Hildenbrand said an emerging research and development synergy that already existed at HMSC and NOAA will add further breadth of ocean research work at the South Beach complex. She said ocean scientists around the country are taking note of Newport’s emergence as the home of a growing body of oceanographic studies, the area being informally referred to as the budding “Woods Hole of the West,” in deferrence to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution based on Cape Cod, Massachusettes. Woods Hole enjoys wide acclaim as one of the most prestigious ocean research organizations in the world.