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Fifth-Grade Students Learn Marine Biology During Virtual Tour

Rudy Brandl

Fifth-grade students took a virtual walking tour in the town of Port Orford, Oregon under the guidance of Jennifer Head, a marine biologist and sister of fifth-grade teacher Tim Head, along with other members of the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve community team. They covered 11 topics by watching videos titled Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve, Battle Rock, A Walk on the Beach, Intertidal Ecology, Scuba Diving, Port Orford Sustainable Seafood, OSU Field Station, Gray Whale Research, The Port, Eco Tourism: South Coast Tours, and Commercial Fishing

Ms. Head was joined by colleagues Tom Calvenese, champion of the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve, director of the Oregon State University field station and leader of the Redfish Rocks Community Team, and Tara Ramsey, developer of the Redfish Rocks/PO Junket tour and community and event coordinator for the Redfish Rocks community team. The students completed the tour prior to the presentation and came to the Zoom having submitted more than 150 questions, which the three experts addressed in great detail.

The tour website states: “Established in 2012, the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve covers about 7 square kilometers or about 2.7 square miles. It is adjacent to a Marine Protected Area that stretches westward toward the boundary of Oregon's territorial sea. The seafloor surrounding these islands is covered with rocky reefs, boulders, and cobble fields with kelp beds between the islands and the shore. These habitats support a wide variety of fish, invertebrates, and seaweeds with the sandy bottom of the MPA supporting other species such as Dungeness crab, a favorite catch for our local fishermen. The Redfish Rocks Community Team has been working to promote stewardship of the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve since 2010. We and the rest of the ocean-aware community of Port Orford welcome you to enjoy this special place.”