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New Delay for Minto Island Bridge
The footbridge to connect Riverfront Park to Minto Island has suffered more setbacks, and now is expected to enter service in February, 2017, at the earliest. The removal of the construction support structures will be welcome; they are an obstacle to navigation while creating an eyesore. The Statesman Journal provides coverage: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2016/10/11/facing-new-delay-minto-island-bridge-pushed-2017/91864540/

Marine Board Actions
The Oregon State Marine Board met in Lincoln City on October 26, and took several actions. Probably the one with the greatest ramifications for valley paddlers involved a proposed ban on wake enhancement on the Lower Willamette. As the news release stated, “The Board … denied a petition to expand the prohibition on the use of wake enhancing devices on the Lower Willamette River from the Hwy 219 Bridge at river mile 48.5 to the upper end of Willow Island at RM 31.5.  Instead, the Board directed staff to initiate an advisory committee to review the Wake Enhancement Device Prohibition rules adopted in 2008.”

You can find the board’s full minutes and agendas, here: http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/info/Pages/Board-and-Public-Meetings.aspx

Otter-Inspired Wetsuits on the Horizon 
Researchers at MIT have managed to figure out the secrets of otter and beaver fur insulating properties, and are now working to apply the knowledge to working products. The result could be lighter, more comfortable and better insulating wetsuits. The Smithsonian has the story: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/coming-soon-otter-inspired-wetsuits-180960716/?no-ist

 

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