Yachats Sea Star Survey
Regular surveys of sea star populations at several sites constitute one of CoastWatch’s special citizen science projects. Initially, the surveys tracked the devastating effects of the sea star wasting syndrome epizootic that swept through rocky habitats throughout the West Coast; during the past couple of years, more happily, survey participants have traced the comeback of various sea star species.
One of these survey sites is at Yachats State Park, on Oceanview Drive just north of the river in Yachats. Additional volunteers are always needed. The next survey session is coming up on Thursday, June 6, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
CoastWatch’s team leader for this survey has had to step down due to physical limitations (participation does require an ability to scramble over wet, rocky intertidal areas), but we have a new partner in the Cape Perpetua Area Collaborative, which works to focus citizen science and other stewardship activities in the vicinity of the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve. Together we will maintain the continuity of the survey. The data gathered is used to help researchers understand the cause of sea star wasting disease and how it changes with time and location, while also monitoring the health of rocky shore habitats (where sea stars are keystone species).
To join in, meet at Yachats State Park’s wooden platform on Oceanview Drive (north of the river) and the group will head down to survey site together. Wear shoes suitable for walking on rocks; a windproof jacket is also suggested. Getting wet is a possibility. Instruction and survey equipment will be provided.
If you would like to participate, an RSVP would be helpful. To RSVP or for more information, contact Tara DuBois (both a CoastWatcher and communications director for the Cape Perpetua Area Collaborative), [email protected].