Port Orford, Oregon: Fishing Community Forum
On June 30th, over 175 people packed the historic Savoy Theater to attend the first community forum of the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT). Co-sponsored by Surfrider Foundation and our partner organizations, the event highlighted research and stewardship efforts of Port Orford's commercial fishing fleet, as well as ongoing efforts of POORT's project partners. Established in 2001, the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT) is a local non-profit that involves fishermen in science, management, and marketing to secure a sustainable fishery and healthy marine ecosystem for the community.
Leesa Cobb, Director of POORT (and Surfrider member) served as emcee for the evening and introduced a diverse panel of speakers. Markus Mead, Surfrider Field Coordinator, presented information on Surfrider's ongoing water quality testing in the community and plans to establish a water quality lab at Pacific High School. Jennifer Bloeser, Science Director for Pacific Marine Conservation Council (PMCC), described collaborative research efforts between scientists and local fishermen designed to inform local approaches to ecosystem-based management. Other highlights of the evening included project updates from fishermen, a short film by Greenfire Productions, and presentations by Ecotrust, ODFW and Moore Foundation staff.
In addition to water quality work, Surfrider staff have been working with the fishing fleet to formalize POORT's community-based structure and process. This has included establishment of a Community Advisory Team to better link the fleet's stewardship efforts to the broader community, as well as the drafting of a resolution recently passed by the city council in support of POORT's vision and principles. Surfrider staff are also working with the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team to secure state level recognition of the POORT process.
Surfrider's work towards supporting Port Orford's community-based process is ongoing, and reflective of our commitment to involving citizens in local efforts to protect their coast and ocean.