Marine Debris Survey Training

September 9, 2017 - 10:00 AM
Hatfield Marine Science Center
2030 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, OR
Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST)

COASST volunteers conducting marine debris survey.\Photo courtesy of COASST.
COASST volunteers conducting marine debris survey.\Photo courtesy of COASST.

COASST, CoastWatch’s partner in the beached bird survey, also conducts a marine debris survey.  A volunteer training for this survey is offered on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in Room 28 of the Hatfield Marine Science Center in the South Beach area of Newport (2030 S.E. Marine Science Dr.).

The trainer will be Julia Parrish, founder and director of COASST and a leading proponent of citizen science.

The marine debris program being organized by COASST (the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team) is different from the one CoastWatch conducts using a protocol from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).  The new approach COASST is pioneering uses a different methodology to capture detailed information about debris at several size scales. Through an interactive, hands-on workshop, trainees will learn how to collect data on the characteristics and location of debris, data that will ultimately be used to map the source and transport pathways of debris and to identify potential harm to people, wildlife, and local coastal ecosystems. 

COASST is a citizen science project of the University of Washington in partnership with state, tribal, and federal agencies, environmental organizations, and community groups. COASST believes citizens of coastal communities are essential scientific partners in monitoring marine ecosystem health. Currently, COASST has more than 800 volunteers surveying beaches in Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska.

There is no charge to attend the training, but participants who would like to take home a COASST survey toolkit will be asked to provide a $20 refundable deposit. Beach surveys are best conducted in groups of two or more—come with a survey partner in mind or plan to join a team during training. No prior experience is necessary, just a commitment to survey a specific beach at least once a month. Training activities take place indoors.

Let COASST know you’re coming by calling 206-221-6893 or e-mailing [email protected].