CORVALLIS - A collaborative, on-line effort to provide important, timely information and networking for Oregon's fishing industry has won national recognition from the USDA's Cooperative Extension Service.

The "Heads Up!" Web site, developed by Oregon Sea Grant and the Women's Coalition for Pacific Fisheries, won one of four 1999 National Flagship Recognition awards for outstanding natural resources education efforts by Extension programs across the Unit ed States.

Heads Up! grew out of years of work by Oregon Sea Grant, the Oregon State University-based marine research, education and outreach program, to better understand the needs of fishermen and their families in coping with cycles of resource, economic and regulatory change.

A desire for better communication among fishermen, their family businesses, coastal residents, marine scientists, the fishing industry and state and federal agencies resulted in the Heads Up! Web site. It that allows participants to share information a nd network by submitting and retrieving short, timely news briefs on subjects ranging from pending legislation and regulations to weather, vessel safety, new publications and upcoming meetings.

Since its November 1998 launch, site has attracted more than 5,000 users, and now averages up to 500 visits each month. It reaches beyond industry news to provide timely information about marine vessel safety, fishing family concerns and news for seafo od processors and consumers.

The Heads Up! site was designed by OSU's Central Web Services and Be Proactive! marketing and graphic design. It is supported and maintained by Extension Sea Grant, with content contributed by Sea Grant, the Women's Coalition for Pacific Fisheries and by those who use the site. Project leaders are Flaxen Conway, Extension Sea Grant community outreach specialist, and Ginny Goblirsch, Extension Sea Grant agent in Newport, and Susan Chambers of the Women's Coalition for Pacific Fisheries.

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Flaxen Conway, 541-737-1418