The OSU Marine Council recognizes the importance of staying informed of the recommendations of the Oregon Nearshore Research Task Force (NRTF). The NRTF was responsible for recommending a long term funding and coordination strategy for research in Oregon's nearshore to the Governor and the Legislature. The goal of this ACT is to form a network of OSU faculty to stay informed of NRTF recommendations, and to keep the Marine Council informed of resultant executive and legislative decisions.
Dr. Gil Sylvia
The OSU Marine Council has established an Action Coordination Team (ACT) charged with keeping the Council apprised of state policies and practices resulting from implementation of the Nearshore Research Task Force (NRTF).
The NRTF was established by the state legislature with the passage of House Bill 3106. The purpose of the Task Force was to “make recommendations to ensure the protection and utilization of Oregon’s nearshore resources.” More specifically, the bill charged the Task Force to develop recommendations on a long-term funding and coordination strategy to meet the state’s nearshore priorities. The Task Force was comprised of 14 voting members appointed by the Governor – seven agency/institutional members and seven community representatives.
The Task Force met monthly from December 2009 to July 2010 and provided their final recommendations to the Governor and Legislature on August 1, 2010. The Task Force recommendations were considered by the Oregon House and Senate Natural Resource Committees during the September 2010 Interim Session.
Task Force Recommendations
After considerable deliberation, evaluation, and expert and public input, the Task Force submitted the following six interrelated core recommendations:
- Develop a multi-year Nearshore Strategic Plan.
- Establish an Oregon Ocean Work Group to aid in the development of the Nearshore Strategic Plan and in long-term coordination of state activities.
- Establish the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee as an independent science advisory body.
- Create an Oregon Ocean Science Trust as a stand-alone non-profit 501c3 entity with the overall mission being to provide a funding mechanism to support the implementation of the state’s Nearshore Strategic Plan and identified research and monitoring needs.
- Ensure that citizens and communities are fully involved in the processes associated with the first four core recommendations.
- Establish a coordinated data management system under the auspices of the Oregon Coastal Management Program to integrate disparate and diverse data sources.
Should recommendations of the Task Force be advanced by the Governor or the Legislature, there will be opportunities for the Marine Council and the broader OSU research community to become involved in development and implementation of the NRTF recommendations.
Research and Engagement
Nearshore Strategic Plan
Development of the Nearshore Strategic Plan holds particular relevance to the Marine Council, as the Task Force has proposed that the plan include: 1) research and monitoring priorities; 2) community engagement mechanisms to involve Oregon communities and the broader citizenry in nearshore research and monitoring; 3) strategies for enhancing education and outreach; and, 4) strategies for data management and coordination. Due to the involvement in nearshore research by many of the Marine Council’s departments, programs, and institutions, it is important that we review and provide comments on the research and monitoring priorities and implementation strategies identified in the Nearshore Strategic Plan.
Science and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC)
In addition to recommending that STAC provide independent scientific advice to the state, the Task Force recommended that STAC membership be expanded to better serve the needs of the state. This ACT suggests that the Marine Council consider nominating members for STAC from OSU’s wide range of expertise in the marine sciences. It is important for the University to play an active role in ensuring that the best scientific advice is provided to state managers and decision makers.
Gil Sylvia, Team Lead and Superintendent, Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES), Gil.Sylvia@oregonstate.edu,
Steve Brandt, Director, Oregon Sea Grant, Stephen.Brandt@oregonstate.edu
Dan Edge, Department Head, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Daniel.Edge@oregonstate.edu