Marine Debris Survey Training

January 12, 2022 - 10:00 AM
Fort Stevens State Park
Hammond, OR
Marine debris survey underway at Fort Stevens.\Photo by Jesse Jones.

Marine debris survey underway at Fort Stevens.\Photo by Jesse Jones.

One of the locations at which CoastWatch conducts our marine debris survey is at 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.

On Wednesday, Jan. 12, 10 a.m., there will be a shoreline marine debris education session, including training for prospective survey volunteers.  This isn’t just practice, though—the actual survey will be conducted.  Meet at 10 a.m. at Parking Lot B, about three-quarters of a mile south of the Columbia on Jetty Rd. in Fort Stevens State Park.  Whether traveling north or south on Hwy 101, turn west on Ridge Road and follow the signs within the park.

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 Dec. 18 to simply to learn the ropes and consider getting involved, either here or perhaps at another site.  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? 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 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.

For more information on the upcoming survey event or plans for the Fort Stevens survey site, contact Ed Joyce, (503) 468-0995, [email protected].  RSVPs would be helpful, so Ed can provide some background information in advance and will know who to look for on the day.