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  A PHOTO FROM RECENT REPORTS
Mile 116 — Coos County, Seven Devils cliffs, Cape Arago South Cove 
 MORE ABOUT MILE 116  
eekramer — The big news is the landslide, which threatens the access trail to the south cove. The slide began last winter and continues to move. (I have been remiss in visiting my mile and wish I would have ...   COMPLETE REPORT  
 Sat Dec 13, 12:00 AM   Bottom portion of trail
Was modified last spring after initial slide. Narrow, muddy, slick, unstable looking
Location: South Cove beach access
 SHOW FULL SIZE PHOTO  
 OTHER RECENT COASTWATCH MILE REPORTS 
  TOP STORIES
 King Tide Project about to Rise Again
King Tide at Wheeler. Photo by L. M. Manz
For the fifth year, CoastWatch is sponsoring the King Tide project. This is the Oregon branch of an international volunteer effort to trace the year’s highest tides by means of photography. Documenting the highest reach of the tides tells us something about areas if the natural and build environments which are subject to erosion and flooding now. It tells us even more about what to expect as sea level rises. Our co-sponsors this year are the state’s Coastal Management Program and the Surfrider Foundation.
This year the project focuses on three sets of extreme tides: Dec. 21-23, Jan. 19-21, and Feb. 17-19.
We’re asking anyone capable of taking a photograph and able to get to the coast during the series of high tides to take shots at the highest point of the tide on those days. These photos can focus on any feature. Those that show the location of the tide in relation to the built environment (roads, seawalls, buildings) are especially useful in demonstrating impending threats. The ideal photo would be taken from a location where the photographer can return later at an ordinary high tide to take a comparison shot.
CoastWatch is making a special effort to organize photographers to document the reach of the King Tides in the vicinity of the new marine reserves (Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, Otter Rock, Cape Perpetua and Redfish Rocks). If willing to help with this citizen science project and seeking directions to areas we would particularly like to document, please let us know.
Participating photographers are asked to post their photographs on the project’s Flickr site, http://www.flickr.com/groups/oregonkingtides/. Those who don’t wish to use Flickr can e-mail their photo files to orkingtide@gmail.com.
More information about the project, including links to tide tables and suggestions for posting photographs, can be found on the King Tide website, http://www.coastalatlas.net/kingtides/. For more information about the technical aspects of the project, please contact Meg Gardner, NOAA Coastal Fellow, at the Oregon Coastal Management Program in Newport: (541) 574-4514 or meg.gardner@state.or.us.
At the conclusion of the project, a celebration will be held beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20, at the South Beach location of the Rogue Brewery in Newport. The best of the King Tide photos will be shown, photographers will be on hand to comment, and there will be a special speaker. The event is free and open to all (some refreshments provided, beer and meals available from the Rogue).
For information about the project, and about participating in the special effort to document the King Tides in the marine reserve areas, contact Fawn Custer, CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, at (541) 270-0027, fawn@oregonshores.org.
 

  ALERTS
 CoastWatch Citizen Science Projects Need More Volunteers
Training session for COASST beached bird survey.
CoastWatch has long sponsored several citizen science projects, such as the beached bird survey in which many mile adopters participate. Over the course of the past year, though, we have expanded the range of these projects. We now conduct seven citizen science projects. Through our "Community Engagement with Marine Reserves" project, we are developing a special project to focus citizen science surveys on the areas facing Oregon’s new marine reserves.
We have seven projects up and running. Some are well established, while a couple are just getting started. Some involve joining a team for a formal survey according to scientific protocols; others are simply a matter of CoastWatchers (and other interested citizens) increasing their vigilance for certain types of phenomena they may observe and knowing where to report the information.
To produce good information, while serving as a vehicle for public education about Oregon's marine resources, we'll need many more volunteers for all these projects. Even where we have solid teams already at work, we would like to expand the teams for greater long-term stability, and with many of these projects, we need more volunteers in more places in order to succeed in producing results. Volunteers could be CoastWatchers, other Oregon Shores members, or any interested community member. If you’ve been following this website or CoastWatch bulletins, you’ve already heard about these projects, but this is a reminder, along with a plea for fresh energy and involvement.
The citizen science projects include:
  • The beached bird survey, in which CoastWatch partners with COASST (Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, based at the University of Washington). This involves monthly surveys, using a formal protocol that produces genuine scientific data.
  • Marine debris monitoring, using a protocol developed by NOAA. This project also involves consistent monthly surveys and produces scientifically useful data. See this background paper for more information.
  • The sea star wasting syndrome survey, another project that utilizes a formal protocol (developed by PISCO, the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans) and produces scientific data. Go here for more details.
  • Marine mammal stranding, in cooperation with Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network. This isn't a formal survey, but we actively train and encourage all CoastWatch mile adopters and other volunteers to report all stranded animals, alive or dead, and provide a form on our website that goes directly to the stranding network. This work produces data points for the stranding network.
  • "Beached marine critters" survey, using a protocol that provides an online means of recording observations of stranded sharks, squid, sea turtles and two species of fish. As with the marine mammal stranding network, this doesn't involve a systematic survey, but if enough volunteers know what to look for and file reports regularly, we will produce data points of use to scientists and resource agencies.
  • Invasive species: At present, this primarily involves species carried on tsunami debris, training volunteers in what to look for, how to handle it, and how to report it to scientists at the HMSC. Our goal is to expand training to include other types of invasives that can be observed on the shoreline, such as algae observed either in situ or in the driftline.
  • King Tide photography project, through which volunteers photograph the year's highest tides, both to demonstrate current conditions and to anticipate what will become ordinary tide levels with sea level rise. The year's project is currently underway; see elsewhere on this page for more information.
CoastWatch will provide training for these various citizen science surveys on a continuing basis. To volunteer or for more information, contact Fawn Custer, CoastWatch’s volunteer coordinator, (541) 270-0027, fawn@oregonshores.org.
 

  NEWS
 Volunteers Needed for Marine Debris Monitoring Project
Float carrying non-native mussels. Photo by Charlie Plybon.
The upsurge of marine debris on Oregon’s shoreline late last spring, much of it from the Japanese tsunami and some of it bearing potentially invasive organisms, was a reminder of the continued importance of monitoring for marine debris and cleaning it up. With winter storms now arriving, we need to ramp up our marine debris monitoring effort to be ready to respond. Here's a handout on our current project--please pass this along to others to help us build the strength of our community teams.
CoastWatch has been working with four partner groups as the Oregon Marine Debris Team (OMDT) to address the debris problem. This involves scouting the shoreline for debris and organizing cleanups. It also involves a citizen science project, through which teams of volunteers survey sites on a regular basis and develop data about the amounts and types of debris washing up on our coast. Plus, it involves scouting for potential invasive organisms ferried on tsunami debris.
Fawn Custer, our CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, is heading up this effort on behalf of the OMDT. Our goal is to organize teams to conduct monthly surveys at 11 sites. We now have 10 sites up and running. The 11th site is wide open to anyone who wants to pull together a team. Thanks to funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), made available through Oregon Sea Grant (one of our OMDT partners), we provide $500 “community grants” to assist these teams in purchasing equipment and covering transportation costs. The teams commit to regular surveys using a formal NOAA protocol. We provide training and support.
Even where we have teams actively working, help is needed to augment the group so that there will always be enough volunteers to cover the site each month. Contact Fawn to learn where new volunteers are especially needed (but you are welcome to participate anywhere). A particular goal is to gather solid data on marine debris on shorelines in the vicinity of Oregon's new marine reserves.
The existing teams include two in Clatsop County, two in Lincoln County, two in Curry County and one each in Douglas, Coos, Tillamook and Lane counties. No prior experience is necessary. Training and support will be provided by the Oregon Marine Debris Team (OMDT), a partnership among four non-profit organizations—CoastWatch, Surfrider, SOLVE, Washed Ashore—plus Oregon Sea Grant. The OMDT actively collaborates with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
For information or to volunteer, contact Fawn Custer: via email, (541) 270-0027. Or go to the OMDT website, click here. Contact Fawn also if you would be willing to help scout any stretch of the Oregon shoreline for marine debris on a regular basis.
 

  SIGHTINGS
 Cassin’s Auklet ‘Wreck’ Arrives on Oregon Coast
Volunteers and staff with COASST—the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team—have noted an unusually high number of dead Cassin’s auklets washing up on Pacific Northwest beaches in October and November, particularly on the northern Oregon coast, where an average of 6 dead CAAUs (the COASST abbreviation) per kilometer were found. Second-highest numbers were reported in southern Oregon, with 3 ... MORE 
  MILE REPORTS SINCE NOV 18 2014
  MILE 338  Randy and Beth — We walked north on our mile with very little beach showing due to the high tide (9.4 ft.); walking into a rainbow with south wind and showers at our back.Of concern were the four small birds spread ...  MORE 
  MILE 301  DHiggins — Regrowth of vegetation designed to stabilize fire-damaged bluff proceeding well.  MORE 
  MILE 116  eekramer — The big news is the landslide, which threatens the access trail to the south cove. The slide began last winter and continues to move. (I have been remiss in visiting my mile and wish I would have ...  MORE 
  MILE 246  Volunteer Coordinator DISPATCH  — Note- Documentation from 1996: Sea star wasting observed and photographed in 1996 by Nancy Chase: "When I talked to you (Fawn) at the conference I mentioned that I had observed some disintegrating...  MORE 
  MILE 102  beachnut DISPATCH  — After two days of relentless high winds, surf and rain, I was surprised at how little damage was evident--at least on the half mile south of the Coquille River and jetty. However there was an ...  MORE 
  MILE 103  beachnut — No real changes on this deserted stretch of beach. Some new logs and hard plastic litter pieces, scattered small stones, shell fragments. Gulls flew offshore; one dead seabird, possibly a grebe. The ...  MORE 
  MILE 102  beachnut — The northern part of this mile was deserted at 7 a.m. on a calm, cloudy day at low tide. Three driftwood huts were near the upper closed parking lot, also marked by heavy charring of driftwood. Lots ...  MORE 
  MILE 106  amyfra — Very quiet and clean beach today. One large group of sanderlings feeding where seasonal creek runs into ocean, along with a few gulls. Garbage had been collected in ocean debris bags and set at dunes ...  MORE 
  MILE 198  bahngarten — Calm overcast morning. Bird carcasses at tide line, 4 Northern fulmar, 5 Common murre, 3 unidentifiable birds, 1 Black turnstone. 1 50+ flight of sandpiper-size birds, few Western gulls and crows. ...  MORE 
  MILE 101  beachnut DISPATCH  — A white baby harbor seal is alive and alert on the south side of the rocky pass near Elephant Rock, just below the point at Coquille Point. There is no place the mother can shift it because high tide ...  MORE 
  MILE 292  Mershlo DISPATCH  — Two hours after high tide -- there are DOZENS of dead birds on the beach today. I lost count. (See photos.) The wrack line contained lots of tiny bits of plastic, as well as larger, more-recent ...  MORE 
  MILE 222  dderickson — As in a previous report, I have cataloged the sets of drainpipes into five sets. There was some change from my last visit. In the second group from the south, where I originally reported eight, ...  MORE 
  MILE 237  JDip237 — Small numbers of people and dogs using the beach. Two dead birds, typical shells and animal casings in driftline. Nothing observed out of the ordinary.  MORE 
  MILE 101  Doug C — Beautiful sunny day between two days of rain. Over 30 people were observed; 4 were horseback riding. Dead Cassin's auklets were found for the first time on this mile. New signs with location numbers ...  MORE 
  MILE 197  mudslide — A fair number of people were out walking, considering the sharply chilly day. Only three or four dogs, the most memorable a miniature dachsund attacking the surf, urged on by its owner. It was fun ...  MORE 
  MILE 280  Volunteer Coordinator DISPATCH  — We found this mola on the beach north of Happy Camp Saturday November 29. We weren't doing our"official" mile survey, just taking a walk! It was about 12" long. We have never seen anything like it ...  MORE 
  MILE 297  NehalemBay — This was a cloudy but windless day, pleasantly warm for this time of year. The ocean was roiling which made for a dramatic scene. There was only one person walking on the beach and no dogs or ...  MORE 
  MILE 236  Streets — This is always such a clean beach, but I've started collecting non-biodegradable debris, and it has slowed me down and made me a lot more observant. Today I picked up a full bag of trash: mostly soda ...  MORE 
  MILE 293  stu&barb — No one on the beach this morning...brutal weather today with 20-30 mph wind,sideways rain, and blowing sand. Any debris is now well concealed and very few shells are visible. Large piles of bull ...  MORE 
  MILE 239  ORbeach — A pleasant, calm day after two weeks of cold rain and storms; nevertheless had the beach to myself except for one gentleman walking. Very little debris noted ... only picked up a few items in the ...  MORE 
CoastWatch, a citizen monitoring program, engages Oregonians in personal stewardship over their shoreline. Volunteers adopt mile-long segments of Oregon's coast, keeping watch for natural changes and human-induced impacts, reporting on their observations, and sounding the alarm about threats and concerns.

CoastWatch is founded on individual vigilance and responsibility for one portion of the ocean shore. But the program also links hundreds of 'mile adopters' in a coastwide network of concerned citizens taking action to conserve shoreline resources. CoastWatchers serve as an early warning system not only for the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, but also for neighbors along their miles, local government, regulatory agencies and other conservation groups.