Marine Reserves News: By the Wind and From the Field

A Deeper Dive

By-the-Wind Sailor: Velella velella 


Photo by Stephen Grace

Perhaps you've taken a walk on one of Oregon’s beaches in the last few weeks and noticed a vivid hue of purplish blue along the shore. This is a common site in the winter and spring thanks to the invertebrate Velella velella. Also known as “By-the-Wind Sailor,” they are akin to a living blue boat (actually they're a free-floating hydrozoan) that is at the mercy of the winds. Storms blow these odd creatures with melodious names ashore, stranding them in uncountable numbers.

This month guest author and photographer, Stephen Grace, shares his story and photos of Velella velella on our website …

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Updates From the Field

Our spring field season has begun. Here are a few highlights from our field preparations and other activities from the last few months …


In collaboration with the Oregon Coast Aquarium we held our annual re-fresher training course for our volunteer scientific SCUBA divers. This year we will be conducting SCUBA surveys at the Cascade Head Marine Reserve.

Fish icon

We have selected our two local fishing vessels to help with this year’s hook-and-line surveys. The surveys will be conducted at Cape Perpetua and Cascade Head, in both the spring and fall months.


Our staff participated in four conferences over the last several months, giving us an opportunity to share some of our research and lessons learned with others. We took part in the Western Groundfish Conference, Ocean Sciences Conference, Oregon Chapter of American Fisheries Society Conference, and the Social Coast Forum.

STAC Meeting - Updates From March 12th


The Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) met on March 12, 2018 in Corvallis to continue discussions with ODFW on planning for the 2023 Marine Reserves Program evaluation. The meeting included updates from ODFW Marine Reserves Program staff on ecological monitoring and human dimensions research efforts. The agenda and copies of presentations and documents discussed at the meeting are available on the STAC webpage.

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