Beginning in the spring of 2016, the Coastal Discovery Center at Camp Gray, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry’s (OMSI) residential science camp and living laboratory to be built in Newport, will be overrun with enthusiastic campers. At the moment, however, the site is overrun with invasive Scotch broom instead. Are you interested in touring the site and simultaneously lending OMSI a hand in beating back the broom? Then join OMSI staff for a site tour and work party at the site of the future marine science camp on Saturday, October 11, 2014 between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm. OMSI is partnering with coastal representatives of SOLVE to remove the broom to get the site ready for construction.
Scotch broom’s sunny yellow flowers are lovely to look at, but this invasive plant does far more harm than good in Pacific Northwest ecosystems. It was introduced along most of the Oregon coast in the 1930s to control erosion and stabilize shifting sands. But once it became established, it outcompeted native plants, even modifying the soil chemistry where it grows such that native plants can’t grow there. Scotch broom monocultures provide poor habitat for native bird and wildlife species, and cause allergies in some people. Continue reading