COOS BAY — The 2015 State of the Coast conference will be an educational event bringing a diverse group of citizens together to discuss the current and future state of Oregon’s marine environment. From scientists to business and community leaders, fishermen to resource managers. Teachers, students, recreationists, and conservationists can gather to learn, network, and talk about the future.

Registration for the day-long conference will cost $35 general admission or $25 student admission. The registration fee will include lunch and reception and break refreshments. The doors will open at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Hales Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Southwestern Oregon Community College, 1988 Newmark Ave. The conference will begin at 9 a.m.

The State of the Coast keynote speaker will be Dr. Wallace J. Nichols. Nichols will ask the audience to consider consider “what happens when our most complex organ — the brain — meets the planet’s largest feature — water?” He will talk about cutting-edge neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, human biology and ecosystem analysis with compelling personal stories that reveals just how relevant water is to our lives.

Dr. Nichols’ book, "Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected and Better at What You Do," will be available to purchase.

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The day will be filled with informative talks. There will be fun, engaging, hands-on activities related to current marine science and issues, including an up-to-date report on changing ocean conditions, such as “The Blob,” a mass of warm water in the Pacific. Learn how people have cooperated to create innovations in fishing, and the latest approaches to marine conservation. What's happening with marine debris, water quality and the Cascadia earthquake.

During breaks you will have an opportunity to make connections, find out some of the latest student research on ocean and coastal topics in Oregon, and talk informally with scientists and each other. The day will wrap up with a reception complete with a raffle and art.

Advance registration is highly recommended, as space is limited. For more information and to register, please visit http://www.stateofthecoast.com.

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