Paddlesports and the Outdoors

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Summer and Its Prospects
Unexpectedly, given earlier forecasts for a drier, warmer spring, our streams are more robust at this point than they have been for a number of years. Of course, current issues surrounding contagion concerns affect shuttle considerations, but in that regard the outdoors itself is a much safer place to be than indoors, as numerous studies have found. One Japanese investigation, for instance, found the odds of contracting COVID-19 indoors nineteen times higher than the chances of contracting it outdoors. All the more reason to breathe free, in the outdoors.

OSMB Seeks Comment on Paddler Petitions 
The Oregon State Marine Board would like public input on two citizen petitions they have received. The first calls for new stipulations regarding the wearing of PFDs, and can be found in PDF format, here: https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/info/Documents/Rulemaking/PaddlePFDPetition.pdf

The second is in regard to the new Waterway Access Permits, and seeks to make their expiration a year from purchase, rather than at the end of the calendar year, as is the current practice. A PDF with that proposal’s particulars can be found here: https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/info/Documents/Rulemaking/CitizenPetition_WaterwayAccessPermit.pdf

Finally, you can make your thoughts known to the board by emailing them, (prior to midnight, June 28), to: osmb.rulemaking@oregon.gov

Coast Guard Rescues Pacific City Kayakers 
Two ill-prepared kayakers recently found themselves in dire straits, near Pacific City’s haystack rocks. A combination of inadequate equipment and insufficient skills left the pair in need of helicopter evacuation. The Oregonian has the story and the video: https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/2020/05/watch-coast-guard-helicopter-crew-rescues-stranded-kayakers-near-pacific-city.html

Oregon State Parks Status Page 
The Oregon State Parks Department has an interactive web page that lets you check the latest operational status of parks in the system. Find it here: https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=v.dsp_parkstatus

 

Nature and the Environment

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Salt Sea Air – Now With Microplastics 
You knew the ocean was awash in microplastics, but did you realize that the crashing waves and organic processes are lofting clouds of them into ocean and coastal air? As yet, there are as many questions as answers, but the Smithsonian explains where things stand: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/salty-sea-breeze-contains-microplastics-new-study-says-180974867/

Bumblebees’ Bites Trick Plants Into Flowering 
Our little, native pollinator friends of the genus Bombus recently revealed a trick to researchers none had witnessed before: strategic bites from the nectar-starved bees induced plants to flower early, in some cases as many as 30-days early. The BBC relates the details: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-52759804

Moths – Underappreciated Nocturnal Pollinators 
While the bees and butterflies get most of the credit for pollinating flowering plants, it turns out moths also fill a crucial role, while working the night shift. Some plants skipped by the more celebrated pollinators are dependent on the moths’ nighttime services. The Smithsonian elaborates: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/moths-work-pollination-night-shift-visiting-some-flowers-bees-skip-180974884/

Caddis Fly Larvae Building Cases of Microplastics 
Caddis fly larvae, ubiquitous in our waterways, have now been found to be building their protective sheaths from microplastics. The plastics do not serve the purpose well, and leave the creatures vulnerable to predators. The insects occupy a particularly crucial niche in freshwater ecosystems, so this is an ominous development, as Ars Technica explains: https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/05/caddis-fly-larvae-are-now-building-shelters-out-of-microplastics/

 

Health, Fitness and Safety

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Climate Change Said Driving Infectious Disease Explosion 
Although climate change itself doesn’t create or spread disease, it has set up the conditions which drive the rise and spread of contagion. The range of pathogens that are aided, one way or another, by climate disruption is wide and the means varied. ProPublica investigated: https://www.propublica.org/article/climate-infectious-diseases

The Case Against Valved Masks 
Even as some jurisdictions are actually banning them, sellers are flooding web pages with ads for “COVID-19” masks featuring valves. To be clear, valved masks do essentially nothing to protect others from the wearer’s breath, pathogens and all. Fast Company examined the issue: https://www.fastcompany.com/90496717/what-is-a-mask-valve-and-why-are-cities-banning-them

IMST – A Breathing Boost to Heart and Brains 
Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training is said to show real promise in improving circulatory system health, lowering blood pressure and bettering cognitive health. Involving little time and minimal equipment, early indications are the technique may assist many struggling to keep fit, as Inverse explains (via Pocket): https://getpocket.com/explore/item/inspiratory-muscle-strength-training-vigorous-breaths-boost-heart-brain

 

Travel, Photography and Animals

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Wildlife Rescue In A Pandemic 
Although the video is from Britain, I’m sure it’s reflective of what our own Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center is going through.  The animals are adorable, the people admirable, and the situation precarious. The BBC provides: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-hampshire-52557517/coronavirus-wildlife-rescue-continues-during-lockdown

Baby Animal Livestreams 
For Mother’s Day the Smithsonian featured a collection of baby animal livestreams. But, hey, baby animals are cute any time! (though they don’t stay babies forever) https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/9-baby-animal-livestreams-watch-mothers-day-180974829/

 

June Excursions

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TERMS, CONDITIONS, DISCLAIMERS AND WAIVERS CAN BE FOUND ON THE “ABOUT” PAGE.

June 21
Yamhill River, Dayton to Lafayette Park – Class A – length 5 ± miles
We revisit the social distance tour series and do the trip that was postponed. Remember lunch.
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com

June 28
Luckiamute River, Luckiamute Landing to Buena Vista – Class A – length 3± miles
Bring a mask and we’ll give our old standby a shot. The shuttle is short, and it will be warm enough to open the windows. Bring provisions.
Jim Bradley
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com

Paddlesports and the Outdoors

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The State of Paddling in 2020
As the prime paddling season begins, the biggest question facing paddlers centers around access. With many parks still closed, access from state, as well as some county and city facilities, remains limited.

The situation promises to evolve in the coming weeks, but it would still be wise not to assume access without confirmation. For it’s part, Wallace Marine Park in Salem remains open.

For the moment, river levels are in the normal range, but the snow pack is at less than half of normal. This means levels are likely to be highly dependent on rain; when the rain stops, the rivers will dry up. So, get your paddling licks in while you can. Time, and the river, wait for no one.

Nature and the Environment

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Putting the Lie to “Planet of the Humans” 
The new Michael Moore film, purported to expose green energy’s dirty secrets, is a deeply flawed and mistakenly presumptive work, by many accounts. Ars Technica is one source that did an insightful job of tearing into the film’s crippling fallacies: https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/04/michael-moores-green-energy-takedown-worse-than-netflixs-goop-series/

The Ocean Deep – Buried in Microplastics 
While the gigantic swathes of floating plastics aggregating in the oceans’ gyres as garbage patches are a more visible indicator of the problem, the vast majority of plastics entering the ocean end up on their way to the bottom. Only now are scientists starting to get a handle on the stunning scale of the predicament, as Ars Technica explains: https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/04/were-making-garbage-patches-on-the-ocean-floor-too/

Living With Beaver: A Landowner Portrait 
Near Scappoose the Powers family has embraced land management practices which encourage the local beaver. Their encouraging experience is the subject of this short video, on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/96040603?fbclid=IwAR1HmDzEBsOf6HLjU5wytHFeWxWw5YUoNvZxmCCnEn_NfG_tEm58IJzg3qk

 

Health, Fitness and Safety

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Should You Take Vitamin D? 
The science simply isn’t entirely settled on vitamin D supplements. Who stands to benefit from them, in what circumstances, and to what degree remain unresolved questions. A more nuanced view, however, has developed in recent years, and the BBC shares it with us: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20181010-do-vitamin-d-supplements-work

Growing Up With Nature Helps Mental Health 
If you didn’t know it already, it’s official now: scientists have found a strong correlation between children being regularly exposed to nature and their later mental health. Of course, with opportunities for children to encounter nature diminishing by the day, that knowledge may be unsettling, in itself. Inverse (via the Pocket service) has the story: https://getpocket.com/explore/item/scientists-discover-a-major-lasting-benefit-of-growing-up-outside-the-city

 

Travel, Photography and Animals

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Smithsonian Photo Contest Winners 
Smithsonian Magazine’s 17th annual competition’s winners have been announced. Featuring uncompromising photography, a wide range of subjects and unique perspectives, they are displayed here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/winning-photos-smithsonian-magazine-17th-annual-photo-contest-180974583/

Do Lunch With Some Sea Otters 
The staff at the Oregon Zoo used toys to give their sea otters a little more variety in their luncheon experience, and the Oregonian was there to catch the antics on camera: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QY8pi9lhyiU

30 Oregon Waterfall Photos 
The Oregonian has put together a nice gallery of waterfall pictures, featuring 30 images of some of our state’s beauties: https://www.oregonlive.com/life-and-culture/j66j-2020/04/2679a9b08a3541/30-photos-of-oregon-waterfalls-to-help-you-through-spring-days-indoors.html

The Sony World Photography Awards 2020 
This year’s award winners vary from the richly natural to the starkly abstract, and all are striking. The BBC has assembled a collection of the winners, here: https://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-52298900

Dolphins Swim in Bioluminescent Surf 
Bioluminescent dinoflagellates in the ocean off Southern California afforded quite a show, recently. The dinoflagellates glow when agitated, and dolphins, surfers, and waves caused all manner of glowing effects in the nighttime waters. The dolphins are a special treat. The Smithsonian shares: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/dolphins-waves-sparkle-bioluminescent-glow-california-coast-180974766/

20 Oregon Wildflower Photos 
Oregon is home to a wide variety of lovely wildflowers, and the Oregonian has composed a gallery of delicate beauties: https://www.oregonlive.com/life-and-culture/j66j-2020/04/46ed6459fa1400/20-photos-of-oregon-wildflowers-as-our-favorite-trails-are-closed-this-spring.html

 

May Excursions

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TERMS, CONDITIONS, DISCLAIMERS AND WAIVERS CAN BE FOUND ON THE “ABOUT” PAGE.

May 24
Willamette Slough, Salem length 3.5 ± miles
Join us for another social distance tour. No shuttle will be required, though a short portage will be necessary. This is likely to be the last trip on the slough this season, before overgrowth renders it impassable.
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com

May 31
Yamhill River, Dayton to Lafayette Park – Class A – length 5 ± miles
The Yamhill is slow enough to paddle up here, and offers a view of a river with a deep history of settlement. The upstream terminus is the Lafayette Locks, remnants of the paddlewheel era. A return to our launch obviates a shuttle.
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com