NEWPORT, Ore. – The variety of floats, bottles, fishing gear and other souvenirs that wash up on the shores of Oregon beaches – the “flotsam and jetsam” – is the focus of the first one-day Flotsam Fest on Saturday, Jan. 12, at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center.

The event will feature displays and lectures, as well as an opportunity for beachcombers to bring their finds to the center.

“If you’ve brought home something from the beach and you aren’t sure what it is, bring it on over,” said William Hanshumaker, the center’s public marine education specialist. “We’ll try to identify it for you.”

Beachcombers are often enchanted by that which is thrown up on the shore by relentless Pacific Ocean waves, but some of these materials – like rope from crab pots and balls of fishing line – can be hazardous to wildlife, Hanshumaker pointed out.

Kim Raum-Suyan, a marine mammal biologist from Newport, will address sea lion entanglement in an illustrated talk in the Hennings Auditorium at 11:30 a.m. Raum-Suyan is a contract scientist who works with OSU and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, specializing in research on Steller sea lions.

Skye Moody, author of “Washed Up,” will speak at 1:30 p.m. on flotsam and jetsam, and conduct a book signing.

The center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the Flotsam Fest.

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Bill Hanshumaker,