Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network

In 2013, MARINe researchers were the first to discover Sea Star Wasting Disease (SSWD)  in Washington state. SSWD is a general description of symptoms found in sea stars that can progress rapidly. These symptoms include lesions, tissue decay, and missing arms. MARINe collects sea star observations from volunteer divers and others who explore rocky habitats and then map these observations on their website. CoastWatch holds educational sessions in the rocky intertidal to help volunteers learn the difference between healthy and sick ochre sea stars and to identify other types of sea stars during summer’s negative tides.

More about MARINe

The Oregon Kelp Alliance

While the ochre sea star made a comeback after the 2013-2014 die-off, sunflower sea stars face additional challenges outside of SSWD and have been proposed for Endangered Species Act protection. The sunflower sea star population has declined by 90% of its pre-outbreak population. ORKA is exploring the critical connections between bull kelp, purple sea urchins, and sunflower sea stars and seeking divers to assist with several projects on the southern Oregon coast.

Submit Sunflower Sea Star Sightings

To join a community science project, start by adopting a CoastWatch Mile.