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23 N. Coast Hwy
97365

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News

The latest goings-on at the MidCoast Watersheds Council

Monthly Meeting, June 2018

MidCoast Watersheds Council

Restoration BMPs and Oregon’s Native Freshwater Mussels


Thursday June 7th, 2018 6:30 PM 

Newport Visual Arts Center

777 NW Beach Dr. Newport, OR 97365

 Emilie Blevins, The Xerces Society, Endangered Species Conservation Biologist, Freshwater Mussel Lead (Photo Credit: Xerces Society/Michele Blackburn)

Emilie Blevins, The Xerces Society, Endangered Species Conservation Biologist, Freshwater Mussel Lead (Photo Credit: Xerces Society/Michele Blackburn)

 

Freshwater mussels are experiencing a dramatic decline; 72% percent of North American freshwater mussels are considered extinct or imperiled, representing one of the most at-risk groups of animals in the United States. The decline of freshwater mussels is due to a number of factors, including construction of dams, sedimentation, pressure from human populations, stream channelization, dredging, and introduction of exotic species. This has been well studied in eastern North America but has received very little attention in states west of the Rocky Mountains. The MidCoast Watersheds Council invites the public to attend a presentation by Emilie Blevins, on June 7th, 2018 at 6:30 PM in Newport.  The talk will be held in room 205 at the Newport Visual Arts Center at Nye Beach.  Refreshments will be served.

Native freshwater mussels have immense ecological and cultural significance. As filter-feeders, they can substantially improve water quality by filtering out harmful pollutants, which benefits both humans and aquatic ecosystems. Freshwater mussels can benefit native fish by making food more visible and bioavailable to the fish. These animals can be highly sensitive to environmental changes and thus have great potential to be used as indicators of water quality. Freshwater mussels have been historically important sources of food, tools, and other implements for many Native American tribes. Native Americans in the interior Columbia Basin have harvested these animals for at least 10,000 years, and they remain an important cultural heritage for tribes today.

Emilie Blevins, Endangered Species Conservation Biologist and Freshwater Mussel Lead for the Xerces Society will provide an introduction to western freshwater mussel biology and life history, their current status and conservation needs, and introduce freshwater mussel Best Management Practice’s (BMPs) that the Xerces Society and their partners have developed. Emilie earned her MS in Biology from Kansas State University and her professional experience includes more than 10 years working in biological research and conservation. As a conservation biologist with Xerces, Emilie has worked on a number of freshwater mussel projects that include surveying and monitoring, conducting extinction risk assessments, developing and managing the Western Freshwater Mussel database, developing best management practices (BMPs) for freshwater mussels, and conducting outreach to the public, researchers, and agency staff.

Come learn more about the history and future of freshwater mussels on the Oregon Coast on June 7th.

 Western pearlshell in Little Lobster Creek. Emilie will lead a workshop for restoration professionals to this site on June 8th. (Photo Credit: Evan Hayduk)

Western pearlshell in Little Lobster Creek. Emilie will lead a workshop for restoration professionals to this site on June 8th. (Photo Credit: Evan Hayduk)