Pacific Northwest
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

OR - OSU receives $500,000 to protect Oregon dunes from rising sea levels

Oregon State University will be receiving a $500,000 federal grant towards assessing the impact of sea level rise against backshore dune environments.

This announcement comes from senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and representatives Suzanne Bonamici and Val Hoyle.

“Oregon coastal communities and their economies rely on the health and vitality of their ecosystems,” says Merkley. “This critical research – being done right here by OSU researchers – will prepare coastal communities to be resilient and overcome the challenges of climate chaos, including sea level rise and coastal erosion.”


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Wyden, Merkley, Bonamici, Hoyle Announce $500,000 for OSU OSU to Protect Oregon Dunes from Sea Level Rise,

Senator Ron Wyden / October 18, 2023


The grant comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.
They will fund projects determining how natural, man-made, and restored coastal habitats can reduce impacts of sea level rise, flooding, and storms in coast communities.

“As coastal erosion and flooding increase along our coastlines, there is growing interest in the use of natural and nature-based structures in mitigating this threat,” says Dr. Sally Hacker, Professor, Oregon State University.

“We are excited because this project is the first of its kind to explore the economic and environmental value of dunes and cobble beaches as protective structures in the Pacific Northwest, including work specifically in Tillamook and Clatsop Counties. By explicitly measuring the values of these important shoreline structures, we can improve decision-making and help coastal communities optimize coastal protection and other services such as recreation, conservation, and aesthetics.”

“I’m thrilled that OSU received this research grant to help Oregon’s coastal communities adapt our dunes and beaches to climate change. I’m committed to getting federal funding to Oregon’s Fourth Congressional District to help the resiliency of our communities,” says Hoyle.

“Coastal communities in Oregon and nationwide are staring down the threat of sea level rise caused by climate change,” says Wyden. “I’m glad OSU’s world-renowned researchers have secured this federal investment to determine how an incredibly important part of our coastal ecosystems like dunes, can be valuable tools in the fight for a sustainable future.”

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