Tillamook County Estuaries- Part 2/6

Bayocean Spit- 2014

Dilemma:  Will Human Activity Impact Nature/ Natural Systems with Positive or Negative Outcome(s)?

Our Oregon Master Naturalist cadre traveled to Bayocean Spit. There, we were asked, “What is an Estuary?” A lecture and conversation about types of estuaries, tidal zones, habitat types, littoral sand movement, and water quality took place against the backdrop of the Bayocean Spit… as it is today and similar to what it was before the Potters’ development folly.

This video, produced by the National Estuaries Project, provides an introductory-level explanation for the concept of “What is an Estuary?” Our examination was more scientific and detailed. However, for an interpretive talk with the public, this resource provides a starting point for general conversation and reflection.

Perhaps if a conversation like ours had occurred here one-hundred years ago, the Ecological Dilemma: Will Human Activity Impact Nature/ Natural Systems with Positive or Negative Outcome(s)?  would have been viewed differently. Now, Bayocean is maintained by Tillamook County as a natural area. There are commercial oyster beds in the bay once again, however, I learned they, and other species,  are not entirely problem-free. York Johnson, Water Monitoring Coordinator for the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, described specific water quality concerns TEP is studying as part of the National Estuary Project.

They are:

  • bacteria levels
  • stream temperatures
  • dissolved oxygen concentrations
  • sedimentation in the watershed.

In addition, ocean acidification is a serious concern to oyster growers, as will be highlighted  in Tillamook County Estuaries: Part 5.

For another time,  I ponder the Ecological Dilemma: Will Human Activity Impact Nature/ Natural Systems with Positive or Negative Outcome(s)?”

Learn More:
Tillamook_bay_national_esturary_program
tillamook_bay_watershed_health_report
Tillamook Estuaries Partnership Summary

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