The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announce the opening of the south coast beaches for recreational razor clamming. Recent razor clam samples indicate the marine biotoxin domoic acid has dropped below the closure limit.
Razor clamming is now open from Tillamook Head (south of Seaside) to the California border.
Razor clam harvesting remains closed on the Clatsop Beaches, between the Columbia River and Tillamook Head, for the ODFW annual razor clam conservation closure. This conservation closure is in effect from July 15th through September 30 of each year to protect newly-set young clams. This closure is not because of biotoxins. The earliest razor clamming on the Clatsop Beaches could open is October 1st. The conservation closure is for the Clatsop Beaches only. It does not include beaches south of Tillamook Head.
Recreational mussel, bay clam and crab harvesting is open along the entire Oregon Coast. Coastal scallops are not affected by biotoxin closures when only the adductor muscle is eaten. The consumption of whole recreational scallops is not recommended. Commercial shellfish products remain safe for consumers.
Paralytic shellfish toxin and domoic acid are produced by algae and originate in the ocean. ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins twice per month, as tides and weather permit. Reopening an area closed for biotoxins requires two consecutive tests with results below the limit.
Governor Kate Brown Announces Updates to the County Watch List
(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown today announced that Lake County has succeeded in reducing the spread of COVID-19 sufficiently enough to be removed from the County Watch List. This brings the total number of counties on the Watch List to nine.
“Like last week with Union and Lincoln Counties, I want to applaud Lake County officials and community members for their work in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in their area. You are another example of how we can control the spread of this disease by working together,” said Governor Brown.
The County Watch List allows the state to prioritize resources and assistance to counties that are seeing the broadest community spread of COVID-19. When a county is placed on the Watch List, the Oregon Health Authority increases monitoring and communication, and deploys additional technical assistance and resources, such as epidemiological support, case investigation, and contact tracing help. Counties remain on the Watch List for a minimum of three weeks and until their sporadic case rates drop below the Watch List thresholds (sporadic case rates of 50 or more per 100,000 people, and more than five sporadic cases, in the last two weeks).
Marion County—which was added to the Watch List last week—recently completed investigations that identified sources for cases that were reported last week as sporadic. Out of an abundance of caution, Marion County will remain on the Watch List to monitor for any increases in community spread.
Governor Brown added, “I want to remind all Oregonians that this disease is something that, for the time being, we must learn to live with. This means, your continued work to protect yourselves and others—wearing a face covering, watching your distance, and washing your hands—is of the utmost importance.”
The complete County Watch List now includes the following nine counties: Baker, Hood River, Jefferson, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Umatilla, and Wasco.
Lincoln County has opened Barbara S. and Walter F. Brown Memorial Park and Campground on the Siletz River with over 3,500 feet of river frontage. The property is a reforested homestead farm and is on a 62 acre parcel located along State Hwy 229, at mile marker 13.6. Brown Memorial park is located adjacent to Strome Park and boat ramps.
Brown Memorial Park Campground is in a clearing of about 3.5 acres. There are 19 campsites each with a picnic table, fireplace/barbeque pit. The campground is the first of the many improvements to come. Fishing for Chinook and Steelhead on this section of the Siletz River is popular. Kayaking, drifting, and swimming are popular summertime activities.
Planned improvements include; water system, flush restrooms, septic system, additional campsites, camping cabins, and trail improvements. Currently the campground has no running water and is serviced by portable chemical toilets.
We are elated to be opening our doors on Monday, August 10th. We will open initially with all five outdoor exhibits only. The reopening follows new guidance released by the Oregon Health Authority on Tuesday allowing zoos, museums, drive-in movie theaters, raceways, outdoor gardens and aquariums to open non-interactive outdoor exhibits during phase one of the state’s reopening plan. Previous guidance did not allow such facilities to reopen until phase two.
Beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, aquarium interpretive experts will provide guests with insight into some of the aquarium’s biggest draws, our outdoor exhibits. The new experience includes the turkey vultures, sea otters, pinniped (seals and sea lions), seabird aviary and rocky habitat exhibits. According to state guidelines, groups will be limited to 10 people, with one group admitted every 15 minutes — that’s 40 guests per hour, or about 240 a day, a drastic reduction from the aquarium’s typical daily summer traffic of thousands. Tickets will cost $15 per person unless you are a member and then they are free.
All information can be found here:aquarium.org/visit/open
The Depoe Bay Chamber and Community Support Local Organizations with COVID-19 Grants
The Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce grant awards made partially through their long- standing Community Fund, which is comprised of proceeds from their annual Salmon Bake. Recently, to supplement this existing fund, the Chamber sold locally-made face shields provided by Lincoln County, requested donations from community members and utililzed marketing grant dollars. In July, the Chamber received applications from local organizations impacted by COVID-19 challenges, and then made selections through a grant award committee comprised of long-time Depoe Bay residents and Chamber leadership.
“This grant project is why I believe in the whole concept of a Chamber of Commerce. We have a Community Fund that is funded primarily by the Chamber’s fund raising events. We are using these funds in a very responsible and community-minded way to support local small businesses during this very difficult economic environment. I plan that we will do more in the future whenever it is feasible.” stated Bob Sullivan, Depoe Bay Chamber Board Treasurer and Community Fund Award Selection Committee Member.
The Chamber received 5 grant applications and was able to provide some level of support for each organization that applied. Applicants included A+ Taxi and Tours, Depoe Bay Food Pantry, Depoe Bay Winery, Mo’s West at Devil’s Punch Bowl, and The Whale’s Tail Charters. Laura Furgurson, Executive Director of the Depoe Bay Chamber who facilitated the application process, mentioned “Though we had very limited funds compared to other nearby cities, we wanted to help even if the grants were small. To encourage applications and create impactful results, we kept the process very simple and targeted our support to each organization’s most pressing needs.”
Since many of their 200 regular clients are high-risk and are no longer going out into the community or to doctor appointments, after 7 years with solid financial results, A+ Taxi and Tours has lost 90% of their business since COVID-19. The Chamber will be paying their business insurance deposit that’s due in August, so owner Taffy Gleason can keep her business afloat. Marketing support will also be provided via other Chamber resources to help promote her new private tours.
Long-time volunteer, Donna Sanders, indicated that the Depoe Bay Food Pantry advertises for donations of food items, and typically does a summer fundraiser with their Pirate Treasure Hunt, but due to physical distancing this annual event was canceled. They have also appealed to Walmart and the Fred Meyer Foundation without any luck due to cited limited resources during the pandemic. The Depoe Chamber already contributes to the Food Pantry in a variety of ways, but will coordinate and financially support a matching fundraising campaign. Chamber volunteers will also help the non-profit with grant writing. (more…)