Photo courtesy of Patrick Mueller
Crissey Field State Recreation Site Beach is the southernmost beach in Oregon, making it the first or last beach when entering or leaving the state. A large field of driftwood sits on the back edge of this beach, likely from trees carried down the Winchuck River and then washed back onto the beach. A land bridge exists in the summer and connects this beach to Winchuck Beach. This state recreation site also has a new building showcasing some of the best in green technology while acting as an Oregon Welcome Center.
Just north of this beach lies the Winchuck River mouth and lagoon. During summer months water flow is poor in the Winchuck River; as sands and silt builds up between the ocean and the river, the resulting a land bridge creates a lagoon. During winter months when rains are more frequent, larger amounts of water come down the Winchuck River and eventually create a bursting event. Much like the collapse of a manmade dam, the sand wall breaks and releases the water from the lagoon into the ocean. This cycle repeats over and over throughout the years, and it is very important for the lifecycles of wildlife species in the watershed.