- Who We Are
- Learn & Explore
- Protect the Coast
- Get Involved
Mile 203 Report
February 9, 2021
The beach area north of Beach Access 66c had erosion of the foredunes and grassy areas eroded and flooded away by storm surges - see photos.
The beach area north of Beach Access 66c had erosion of the foredunes and grassy areas eroded and flooded away by storm surges - see photos. We found one unidentified dead bird - see photo.
Temperature: 45 F. Cloud Cover: Partly Cloudy. Wind Velocity: Moderate. Wind Direction: NW. Tide Level: 4.0 feet.
Number of people: 14. Number of dogs: 3. Walking or running: 10. Playing in sand: 3. Sitting: 1. People were mostly walking. It was cold and windy and the people were walking quickly.
Apparent violations: None.
Total dead birds: 1. Possibly a Cassin auklet but the bird is titled as unidentified as I really am not sure.
Dead Fish or Invertebrates
Numerous dead pyrosomes on the beach.
Wood pieces, Marine debris (plastic, styrofoam, etc. washing in from the sea), Styrofoam, Ocean-based debris (from fishing boats, ship trash, etc.). We picked up 2 buckets of ocean debris, styrofoam pieces, plastic pieces, marine rope and netting. It was not a lot and it was mix of many things.
Erosion of vegetated foredune. The foredunes had substancial erosion and areas of grassy march where bird had nested were wiped out from the storm surges. All the erosion took place on the northern half of Mile 203.
Actions & Comments
We were amazed at the amount of foredune erosion that the storms had done in a large area on the north half of Mile 203. Areas where birds had nested last year were gone or flooded. One area that was affected was a Snowy Plover nesting site last summer. The Beach Rangers had roped off the area and had Bird Nesting warning signs posted. Logs we had observed for years were gone or pushed up toward the houses by over a hundred or more feet. The fronts of dunes were torn away or a small island of sand was left. The area affected ran for about 200 yards north of Beach Access 66c to the north end of Mile 203. The area north of where Mile 203 ends by Hidden Lake, also had substancial foredune erosion from what saw as we walked north of our mile to see what had happened. The area south of Beach Access 66c was not affected by the storm surge. There are some new logs and a big tree root system washed up on shore on the south half of Mile 203 but not much else.
All Mile 203 Reports
The beach has had substantial washing away of old dunes and washing up of beach grass into the dunes. There were 45 bird carcasses of we believe are Cassin's auklets.
Today I and my two CoastWatch partners conducted a NOAA Marine Debris survey on our 100 meter survey site at Sandpiper Beach, Mile 203. On reaching our marine debris survey site, we saw a lot of Cassin's Auklet carcasses, which COASST calls CAAU, all high up on the beach among the beach vegetation and washed-in sea grass, many carcasses partially covered by sand or vegetation. After we completed our debris survey, I returned to our survey site and began collecting CAAU carcasses in groups of 9, as COASST recommends, ultimately collecting 40 carcasses in 4 full and 1 partial grouping. Below is a link to our Sandpiper Beach NOAA debris survey site where most CAAUs were found, reached by a boardwalk that enters the beach midway in the debris survey site. COASST defines a "wreck" as more than 20 beached individuals of one species per kilometer, and a "MME" (Massive Mortality Event) as a spike of up to hundreds of carcasses per kilometer. We also found a beached Northern Fulmar and what is I believe was either a female Gadwall or White-winged Scoter, which I took note of but didn't measure or report on to COASST. I submitted documentation with photos of the CAAU beaching event to COASST, and COASST responded that they had received reports of CAAU beachings from Southern Oregon sites like Coquille Point and Cape Blanco but also as far north as Manzanita. All this sounds very dry, but it was really sad to see and handle all these beautiful little dead birds and wonder if this is completely natural or if climate change, and perhaps a decline of prey species making these birds more vulnerable, factors into these mortality events. https://mdmap.
The storms and rain caused some beach washout from the ocean and from the land.
Last year at this time, Jesse Jones helped us set up a 100 meter NOAA marine debris survey site on Mile 204, which we later moved to Sandpiper Beach on Mile 203.
After observing 8 snowy plovers on Mile 200 yesterday, I wanted to check up on the plovers on Mile 203.