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Coastal Training Program Research

Where does the rain go when it drains from your roof?


If you live in the city, your storm water probably flows down your driveway or across your sidewalk and into a storm water sewer drain. Depending on where in the city you live, it might flow directly to a river or bay. Eventually it all ends up in the river or bay, carrying oil and gas, trash, household and industrial chemicals, bacteria, heavy metals, mineral salts, plastic particles and other pollutants with it. Heavy rains can produce abnormally heavy runoff that erodes channels and banks, floods urban streams, damages habitat, property and infrastructure, and threatens lives.


Storm water runoff can alter the natural flow of a river, channel or bay. Changing the flow can drastically affect water quality and the ability of stream or bay to support fish and other aquatic life. Fish and other aquatic organisms may respond to changes in flow in unexpected ways. Higher than natural flows can erode and scour a stream or channel. Lower than natural flows can concentrate pollutants and raise water temperatures, reduce the availability of oxygen and harm or kill fish, or prompt invasions of exotic plants and animals.


The U.S. Clean Water Act protects aquatic life by setting standards for local governments to protect water quality, but that might not be enough. Water quality managers are beginning to realize that to protect aquatic life and habitat they need to better understand how the natural flow of a stream or bay varies in space and over time. Communities, and even individuals, can provide a great deal of protection for aquatic habitat relatively easily by taking simple steps to reduce the amount of storm water runoff that flows from their property. You might be one of a growing number of Oregonians who are using some form of green infrastructure to keep your rainwater closer to home.


Green infrastructure is a set of cost-effective practices to reduce storm water runoff. It includes features such as rain gardens, green roofs, permeable pavements, bioswales, green streets and green parking, and techniques such as rainwater harvesting, planting urban trees, and open space to hold storm water in place long enough for it to seep into the ground.


Oregon’s Coastal Training Program at South Slough Reserve is building partnerships on the south Oregon coast to provide green infrastructure training. For more information about green infrastructure training, call John Bragg (541) 888-5558 ext. 129, or email john.bragg@state.or.us.


                                                                                                                                                                                   Oregon Rain Garden Guide 


Interpretive Center


Visit the South Slough Reserve Interpretive Center


The Interpretive Center is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 am until 4:30 pm. The Center is closed on state holidays.

The Interpretive Center will also be closed to the public on November 26, 2016, December 24, 2016, and December 31, 2016.

 Trails and waterways are open from dawn through dusk.







  Nina Rudd


Evaluating the Presence of the European Green Crab in the South Slough Reserve

The European green crab Carcinus maenas, has invaded coastlines around the world. The species has induced adverse impacts on native ecosystems and shellfish aquaculture industries.

Green crabs were first recorded in Coos Bay, OR in 1998 following a strong ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) which brought warm winter waters to the Pacific Northwest. Green crab presence in Oregon is anticipated to increase after the 2015/2016 ENSO.

Research Goals:

       Record the distribution and population size of green crabs in the South Slough Reserve

       Determine the native crab species that co-occur in local environments with green crabs

       Provide detailed baseline data for future studies

Carcinus maenas is present throughout South Slough,  from the mouth of the estuary to its headwaters.

Fukui traps are ideal for future research and eradication initiatives of Carcinus maenas.

Increased abundance at Joe Ney Slough may indicate an established population. Future work should focus on this area to assess ecological impacts.

Further investigation is needed to determine if there is causation between Dungeness /green crab interactions and species specific substrate distributions.   Symposium_Poster_CTW.pptx​

 What's Happening


Local community events and activities

South Slough Reserve
encompasses a mixture of open water channels, tidal and freshwater wetlands, riparian areas, and forested uplands.  The Reserve supports and coordinates research, education, and stewardship programs which serve to enhance a scientific and public understanding of estuaries and contribute to improved estuarine management.  South Slough Reserve is part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS), a network of 28 reserves dedicated to research, education and stewardship.                                                         
 White Egrets on the South Slough - John Bragg