NEWPORT - The future of the Oregon coast, its human communities and the environments in which they live will be the focus of a two-day June conference called Sustaining Oregon's Coast and Communities: Issues and Opportunities.

The meeting, June 6-8 at the Hotel Newport, is being organized by Oregon Sea Grant, the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, and the Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association.

Participants are expected to include community leaders, scholars and coastal government officials. Residents of the coast are invited to attend.

The organizing groups hope the conference will create a forum for discussing emerging issues concerning the coast, its people, and the prospects for the region's future. Among other things, they are hoping participants can help define the term "sustainability," as it relates to the communities, the environment and the special qualities of Oregon's coast.

Oregon Sea Grant, part of a national network of university-based research programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, is especially interested in learning about issues which might be addressed by scientific research.

The first day will include presentations and discussion concerning:

  • People and the Oregon coast, including the region's history, demographics, economic and employment trends and infrastructure needs. 
  • The state of marine and coastal ecosystems, including overviews of offshore, nearshore and shoreside waters, estuaries, watersheds and local ecosystems. 
  • Emerging issues: socio-political trends, economic development issues, tourism and recreation, and marine resource management.

The second day's presentations will focus on defining sustainability and on community involvement in its creation. The program will conclude with a group discussion of "What do we want the Oregon coast to be?"

Oregon Sea Grant officials say they expect to publish a follow-up report highlighting the conference's presentations and discussions.

The fee for the two-day event, including two lunches and one dinner, is $35 through May 23, and $50 after that date. Registration will be accepted at the door.

Registration information is available from: Issues Conference, Oregon Sea Grant, 500 Administrative Services Building, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR 97331.

Up-to-date conference information may also be found on Oregon Sea Grant's World Wide Web page, at:

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Joe Cone, 541-737-0756