Oregon State's newest marine center necessary in the tsunami zone (Opinion)

By Bruce Mate

Contrary to what you may have heard, Oregon State University can save more lives — and advance coastal safety — by building its next marine studies facility within a tsunami zone in Newport.

I was assigned to work at OSU's Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport in 1975. As a marine biologist, working so close to the Pacific Ocean was a dream.

Plate tectonics was a new concept then, and few people thought about earthquakes and tsunamis. Today, we know much more about these events, but opinions vary on what to do about them.

Along the Oregon coast, quakes larger than magnitude-8 occur every 320 to 500 years, with larger events (greater than magnitude-9) every several thousand years. Recent earthquakes in similar geologic regions, including Japan, have brought the dangers into better focus. Read more...