Mile 291 Report

July 9, 2017
by cemilligan

Camp Magruder north, Watseco, Twin Rocks SW
Sunday 1:00 PM
Party cloudy
68° F
Moderate from the N
Tide Level:
1.0 ft
Humans / Pets:
Walking / Running:
Playing in sand:
Apparent Violations:
One fire pit still smoldering. Less than standard amount of litter on the beach.
Activity Comments:
Notable Wildlife:
Dead Birds:
Fish & Invertebrates:
Small rocks·Kelp or Algae·Animal casings (e.g. crab, shrimp molt)·Wood pieces·Plastic pellets
New Development:
Natural Changes:
Dunes of drifted sand. Appears there have been significant winds from the north over the last couple months.

Driving down 101 from the intersection of highways 26 and 101, my husband, our dogs, and I were very excited to get to our mile. The sun was shining, the surf looked wonderful, and we were excited to get out of the stifling Portland heat.  Until we arrived at Rockaway Beach.  We entered a pocket of clouds, a strong breeze (borderline wind) coming from the north, and chilly conditions overall.  The thermometer on the car said it was 68 degrees, however it seemed much cooler.  However, despite all this we were dedicated to the cause and to patrolling our mile, as we assumed there would be a great deal of litter to pick up and remove from the beach considering the recent Independence Day holiday.  When we arrived, there were very few people on the beach, only about five scattered diehard vacationers were either running up and down the beach, or making sandcastles.  It appeared that this area had been experiencing a lot of consistent wind lately as the entire beach had large sand drifts.  In comparison to previous patrols, it appeared that a lot of the driftwood had either been moved to make forts, or burned in the campfires that had taken place over the last two summer months.  We were pleasantly surprised that there was not near as much litter and debris as we expected.  Compared to our usual 4 bags of trash, we only picked up 2.5 today.  Most of it consisted of remnants of firework displays, beer drinking, and s'more making.  We came upon one smoldering fire pit, which we smothered with sand.  Due to the wind, there were very few birds on the beach. I only counted 4 gulls the entire time we were out.  We did not come upon any dead birds or other stranded animals. The high tideline had a considerable amount of tiny crustaceans, while the lowtide line consisted of black pebbles and seaweed.  There was some interesting new vegetation on the beach. Tons of small, little flowery plants had sprung up over the past couple months.  Finally, the main channel of the creek that is located towards the north end of our mile has really changed course.  This will unfortunately be our last post on this mile as we are relocating back to our home state of Alaska.  We have loved the priviledge of patrolling this mile, and will miss the Oregon coast oh so much.  I hope whomever takes over this patrol will love and care for this awesome strip of beach!

  • Abandoned Campfire
    July 9, 2017
  • July 9, 2017
  • Dunes created by winds from the north.
    July 9, 2017
  • Driftwood Fort.
    July 9, 2017
  • New plants on the beach.
    July 9, 2017
  • Drifts from campfire.
    July 9, 2017
  • Creek towards north end of mile.
    July 9, 2017
  • Driftline looking south.
    July 9, 2017
Other Mile 291 Reports (18)


January 24, 2023 - sndlwd
Widened to beach access could increase king tide current flow toward homes. Fresh water creek changes every season depending on sand deposits.
  • New trash, I'm there once a week
January 14, 2023 - BerrieC
Significant erosion at Pine Beach Loop and North Magruder during November/December King tides. 3 to 6 feet additional Dune erosion at McGruder. 20+/- additional trees down.
  • N Magruder fallen trees
  • N Magruder erosion
  • Pine Beach Loop erosion


November 15, 2022 - BerrieC
Gorgeous, sunny day with very calm surf. Nothing unusual or of note, other than the dead skate on the beach. 
August 11, 2022 - BerrieC
3 groups of Snowy Plovers feeding a the water's edge, approx 120 birds between Twin Rocks and Watseco. Other items: Small bag of dog poop. Buoy Beer label. Large amounts of seaweed in which debris...
  • Seaweed
  • Dead Common Murre
  • Dead Common Murre
  • Dead Common Murre
  • Dead Common Murre
  • Dead Common Murre
  • Dead Common Murre
  • Firewood
  • Firewood
  • Snowy Plovers
  • Snowy Plovers
  • Garbage on beach


September 13, 2021 - MossierJ
I was mistaken in identifying murlettes - they are immature common murres.  The live murre was still alive the following morning (9/13 at 6:30am), but then a crow came and was pecking at it.  
September 12, 2021 - MossierJ
1 live murrelet, 1 dead murrelet, 1 dead cormorant.  Didn't know what to do about the live murrelet on the beach.  Called North Coast Wildlife Center, but it was after hours.  Left the bird on the...
  • Live Murrelet
  • Dead murrelet
August 5, 2021 - JGarcia
I didn't walk the whole mile on this date.  A friend texted, telling me that there was a dead mammal on the beach.  I walked down and found the dead animal (porpoise or dolphin) and took several...
July 26, 2021 - BerrieC
June 12, 2021 - BerrieC
May 28, 2021 - JGarcia
February 10, 2021 - JGarcia
In general, a nice day at the beach.  There weren't many people out.  Surprisingly little man-made debris along the wrack.  The most obvious change since the new year is the beach erosion and erosion...


September 28, 2020 - JGarcia
It was an absolutely beautiful sunny and clear day on mile 291.  Quite a few people were out strolling and playing with their families.  Very little man-made debris. 2 jets flew over and also a Coast...
  • barrel on beach
June 12, 2020 - JGarcia
A cloudy day at the beach.  Not many people in my mile. About a dozen in all.  4 dogs, all off-leash.  I found just a few pieces of marine debris in the wrack, small plastic pieces.  Lots of shell...


April 30, 2017 - cemilligan
April 30th was a beautiful day to be on the coast.  The temperature was a comfortable 55 degrees, light breeze from the north, partly cloudy.  Warm enough to wear a t-shirt and jeans.  My husband and...
January 28, 2017 - cemilligan
Today was a beautiful day at the beach, partly sunny, light breeze, warm air temperature.  The tide was almost at its highest point.  Several people were walking around the beach, enjoying the sand...
  • Styrofoam pellets, cellophane worm casings
  • driftwood pushed into vegetation-King Tide
  • Crab pot deposited by King Tide
  • Normal high tide
  • Western Grebe, Aechmophorus occidentalis
  • visitors on beach
  • large tree trunk brought on shore during King Tide


November 27, 2016 - cemilligan
My family and I chose to spend Thanksgiving and the weekend after in Rockaway Beach.  It was a blustery, wet vacation, but a great one all the same.  Sunday we decided to make the trek down the beach...
  • Western Grebe
October 23, 2016 - cemilligan
Today I was joined by my husband and dog for our scouting.  It was a beautiful day on the coast so a lot of people were out enjoying the day.  During the 4 hours we spent on the beach there were...
August 28, 2016 - cemilligan
 Upon my arrival at the beach the weather was quite dreary with slight rain and wind from the south.  There were approximately 20 people and 1 dog walking, running, collecting agates, building sand...