COOS BAY — In a one-of-a-kind event, a virtual Coos Watershed Mayfly Festival will begin on July 15.

In accordance with health guidelines from the CDC and Oregon Health Authority, Coos Watershed Mayfly Festival organizers have decided that rather than gathering at Mingus Park for its fourth-annual festival, they will bring the festival to the public, through a smart phone or computer, wherever they are in the watershed.

"With help from our Mayfly Festival partners, we are focusing on all of the great things to explore right here, even in your own backyard, and sharing our discoveries with each other," a spokesperson said. "The best part: the virtual festival will be several weeks instead of just one day, and you can participate from anywhere! This virtual event will be fun and educational for all ages."

How to participate

1. Go to coosmayflyfestival.weebly.org for full instructions

2. Start following the Coos Watershed Association on Facebook and Instagram and/or join our email list by emailing volunteer@cooswatershed.org

3. Starting July 15, watch for videos and “nature discovery challenges” presented by Coos Watershed Association and other community partners (scientists, artists, musicians, etc.)

4. Participate in the weekly challenges and take photos of your experiences

5. Tag us in your photos on Instagram and Facebook using #cooswa, #mayflyfestival (or you can email us your photos)

6. Tune in each week for new info and challenges, and to see what other people are doing!

Prizes

Each time you participate in a challenge, your name will be entered into a drawing for a raffle prize at the end. The more you participate, the higher your chances are of winning some cool nature swag.

As you head out to explore, please make sure to do so safely. Call ahead, only visit locations that are open, observe 6-foot social distancing, wear a mask when indoors or in close contact with other people, and follow all CDC and OHA guidelines.

For more information, email acarleton@cooswatershed.org, or visit www.facebook.com/cooswa/.

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