Marine Debris Survey

April 19, 2021 - 9:00 AM
Cape Perpetua Collaborative, CoastWatch

Entrance to Cape Cove trail, site of marine debris survey.\Photo by Tara Dubois.

A monthly marine debris survey is conducted at Cape Cove, just south of Cape Perpetua.  It is still taking place, with Covid-era precautions (masks are worn).  New volunteers are welcome to join the survey, on Monday, April 19, 9-11 a.m.

The Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, where surveys have assembled in the past, is currently closed, so participants will meet at the trailhead for Cape Cove Beach (approximately GPS  44.281438, -124.108723—if heading south, past Devil’s Churn and before Visitor Center turn—if heading north, the second pull-out to the left after the visitor center). The group will briefly meet at the trailhead and then head down to the beach.

For more information about the survey and how it is being conducted while observing Covid-era precautions, see website for more information.

Sturdy shoes are recommended, as there is a steep path to the beach.  Equipment and instruction will be provided.  The survey will take about two hours.

CoastWatch, which leads coastwide marine debris monitoring for the Oregon coast using a national protocol from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as part of the state’s Marine Debris Action Plan, is collaborating with the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve Collaborative at this site.  The data goes into a national database kept by NOAA.

The team will survey 100 yards of Cape Cove Beach. This includes flat sandy beach, wood debris, cobble rocks and lava rock. Most of the debris is located in the rocky and woody areas. After the survey, the coordinator will count and document the material collected, and let participants know the results. The plastic items are kept for re-use in various projects. If you have your own bucket and gloves, please bring them with you.

Volunteers are always needed, and visitors are also welcome to join in to learn about the marine debris monitoring process, perhaps to carry the knowledge to another area to start up a new monitoring team.

These surveys are citizen science efforts that make a contribution to scientific studies of the origins and impacts of such debris by helping to provide baseline data.  They also help to clean up the stretches of shoreline where they occur.

For more information about this survey, contact Tara Dubois at [email protected].

For more information about marine debris monitoring in general or other CoastWatch citizen science efforts, contact Jesse Jones, CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, at [email protected].https://capeperpetuacollaborative.org/event/cape-cove-beach-cleanup-apr19/