Journeying Oregon’s New Marine Reserves by Bike: Managing Marine Reserves

Photo: The video sled ODFW uses to monitor undersea ecosystems. Photograph by Helen Helfand.

By Chris Rurik and Helen Helfand

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It is a simple diagram, and Cristen Don and Stacy Galleher laugh wryly as they show us. Four overlapping circles represent their team’s responsibilities: “Policy and Administration (1 staff),” “Ecological Monitoring (2.5 staff),” “Human Dimensions Monitoring (1 staff),” and “Outreach and Engagement (1 staff).” By this stage in our journey, we understand why they laugh — five and a half people at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) are expected to take on just about every responsibility related to Oregon’s five new marine reserves.

We meet Don and Galleher in their offices south of Newport’s Yaquina Bay Bridge, a beige building equal parts garage and low-ceilinged cubicles. A state’s worth of dreams and doubts about the marine reserves’ potential comes home to roost in this nondescript place. The team of five and a half is responsible for making something of the menagerie of expectations. Don leads the team. She is slender, sweet, and poised, hardly the harried bureaucrat we might expect, and she makes no bones about the task set out for her team. Galleher is Community Engagement —> Read More Here


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