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Beach natural history talk set for Aug. 31 in Nehalem

Stewart Schultz speaking at a workshop. Submitted photo.

Coastal ecologist Stewart Schultz will speak on “The Natural History of Northwest Beaches” at Fort George Brewery and Public House in Astoria on Thursday, Aug. 22 from 6-8 p.m. and the North County Recreation District in Nehalem on Saturday, Aug. 31 from 5-6:30 p.m. The events, sponsored by the CoastWatch program of the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, are free and open to all. Food and drink are available for purchase from Fort George.

Following the Nehalem lecture, Schultz will lead a beach walk on Manzanita Beach, starting at 7 p.m.

Schultz is author of “The Northwest Coast: A Natural History,” a leading expert on the coastal ecology of the Pacific Northwest. He will describe the life found on the shore and within the sands. Tidepools are fascinating to many, but beach ecosystems are an equally fascinating realm.

Schultz has wide-range experience in studying the Oregon Coast, making him a knowledgeable guide to the shoreline environment. An Oregonian who grew up playing on the shore near Gearhart, he went to Reed College and obtained his doctorate in botany from the University of British Columbia. He worked on the Oregon Coast for the Nature Conservancy, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, gaining wide field experience before pursuing an academic career as a professor at the University of Miami, and now the University of Zadar in Croatia.

The event will also be an opportunity to meet new CoastWatch Volunteer Coordinator Jesse Jones, an Astoria resident, who will introduce Schultz and speak briefly about CoastWatch and its citizen science projects, and will also join Schultz for the Manzanita beach walk on Aug. 31.

CoastWatch volunteers monitor one-mile segments of the Oregon Coast, watching for both natural changes and human impacts and serving as conservation advocates for their miles. The program also sponsors a number of citizen science projects.