Marine Debris Survey Training

May 13, 2020 - 10:00 AM
Fort Stevens State Park
Hammond, OR

Oregon Shores board member Ed Joyce (right) leads the Fort Stevens marine debris survey.\Photo by Patricia Jensen
Oregon Shores board member Ed Joyce (right) leads the Fort Stevens marine debris survey.\Photo by Patricia Jensen.

One of the locations at which CoastWatch conducts our marine debris survey is Fort Stevens State Park, just south of the Columbia’s South Jetty.  More volunteers are needed to fill out the team, headed by Oregon Shores board member Ed Joyce, which handles the monthly survey at this site. We seek to organize a large enough team that some members can be there every month, without any one person having to be there each time.

The next such survey was scheduled for Wednesday, May 13, beginning at 10 a.m., with a shoreline marine debris education session, including training for prospective survey volunteers.  Ordinarily, a meeting place is announced, and all comers are welcome.  During the current conditions of severely restricted access due to the coronavirus, this isn't possible.  The survey can only take place through a special permit from State Parks to allow access, with the number of participants limited.  At this point, anyone interested can contact Ed Joyce to find out if it would be possible to accompany the survey team:  (503) 468-0995, [email protected].  Even if it isn't possible to join the survey this month, Ed would be glad to hear from prospective future volunteers and provide them with information

As with all CoastWatch’s marine debris survey sites, the survey is conducted monthly, to supply consistent data.  Everyone is welcome to participate in this citizen science project, CoastWatchers and non-CoastWatchers alike.  While the goal is to recruit volunteers who will participate at this site, anyone is welcome to join in on May 13 to learn the ropes and consider getting involved, either here or perhaps at another site, or simply out of interest in learning about marine debris and how to monitor for it.  Instructions and materials will be provided.

This is serious citizen science, employing a protocol developed by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and producing data used by scientists studying the marine debris problem.

Although we continue to learn more and more about marine debris, there are still many unanswered questions. These include unknowns such as which types of debris are most common in a certain area? Or, how is the problem of marine debris changing over time, and are our efforts to prevent debris effective? NOAA’s Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP) helps to answer these questions and others by collecting baseline data. The data collected through this project can be used to evaluate the impacts of marine debris along our coastlines and can help inform future marine debris mitigation and prevention efforts on a local, regional, and national scale.

Go here for more information on this citizen science effort.