Webinar on Sea Star Observation

May 25, 2022 - 6:00 PM

Ochre sea stars.\Photo by Sonja Peterson.

Ochre stars are one of the most recognizable and well-known intertidal species on the Oregon coast. The massive loss of them in recent years due to a still unknown syndrome called sea star wasting heightened our awareness of how incredibly vulnerable tidepool invertebrates are on the Oregon coast. A recent Oregon law (March 2022) prohibits the collection of this keystone species, which feeds mostly on mussels, and a recent study outlines how climate change may be contributing to a lack of resilience in these hardy and adaptable creatures in Oregon.

CoastWatch volunteers who have adopted rocky habitat miles of the Oregon coast often want to contribute more to science, once they learn how ecologically rich the intertidal habitat is. Including sea star observations as part of their CoastWatch mile survey is one of many ways to deepen their experience and help the science community - in this case MARINe, the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network, a partner of CoastWatch.

Melissa Miner, a researcher in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz who is based in Bellingham, Washington, will give a tutorial of how to submit a sea star observation for CoastWatch volunteers and interested others. She will also give an overview of the resources available on the MARINe website - such as sea star ID guides - and provide a current update on Sea Star Wasting and the status of sea star populations in Oregon. The virtual workshop will begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25 and last about an hour.

This virtual workshop is free and open to non-CoastWatchers! Register here.