Featured internship site: Yaquina Head, OR
For these following posts we will be taking a look into the many different America’s Great Outdoors internship locations. Because the locations of internships are spread out across the United States, interns are sure to all have unique, memorable experiences. The first site we will be looking at is located in the beautiful coastal area of Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area in Newport, Oregon.
Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area extends out from the Oregon coast, one mile into the Pacific Ocean. Year-round diverse wildlife can be found on and around Yaquina Head’s off shore islands. These islands are a year-round refuge for harbor seals as well as some shorebirds including Pelagic and Brandt’s cormorants, black oystercatchers, glaucous-winged gulls, and western gulls. In the Spring-Summer these islands are a home for thousands of nesting shorebirds such as common murres, brown pelicans, surf scoters, pigeon guillemots, and rhinoceros auklets, where they breed and raise their young. Yaquina Head is also one of the best locations to find gray whales. These whales can be spotted December to early February, while passing the headland on their southern migration to breeding and birthing grounds in Baja, California. The gray whales then pass through again March through May during their northern migration route to their feeding grounds in Alaska. Even more sea life can be seen at low tide when a vibrant ocean floor is revealed with pools of colorful animals including orange sea stars, purple sea urchins, and giant green anemones.
One of the most famous symbols of Yaquina Head is the lighthouse at the westernmost point of the basalt headland. Standing 93 feet tall, the lighthouse has been a bright beacon of the night, guiding ships and their supplies since the light was first lit on August 20, 1873. The natural and human history of the site can also be found on display at the Yaquina Head Interpretive Center. From the wheelhouse of an historic ship, to a recreated rocky island and its inhabitants, to a full scale replica of the lighthouse lantern, exhibits help visitors appreciate the rich history of Yaquina Head.
Check out the pictures above or click here to learn more about Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area!