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Mile 297 — Tillamook County, Nehalem Beach, Nehalem Bay SP 
NehalemBay — This was a cloudy but windless day, pleasantly warm for this time of year. The ocean was roiling which made for a dramatic scene. There was only one person walking on the beach and no dogs or ...   COMPLETE REPORT  
 Mon Nov 24, 9:30 AM   Possible seal carcass
It was difficult to tell what this was. No legs, but what looked like hair.
Location: Midway on Mile 297
 Sightings: Cassin’s Auklet ‘Wreck’ Arrives on Oregon Coast
Cassin's auklets. Photo by Michael Carver/CBNMS.
Volunteers and staff with COASST—the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team—have noted an unusually high number of dead Cassin’s auklets washing up on Pacific Northwest beaches in October and November, particularly on the northern Oregon coast, where an average of 6 dead CAAUs (the COASST abbreviation) per kilometer were found. Second-highest numbers were reported in southern Oregon, with 3 CAAUs per kilometer. In contrast, the highest number of dead Cassin’s auklets previously recorded was in 1 per mile in Feburary-March 2005. CoastWatch is COASST’s Oregon partner, and many of the program’s volunteers in Oregon are mile adopters.
Cassin’s auklet is a small seabird in the same family as the Common murre but much smaller (about 9 inches long; murres are typically about 17 inches long) and less common; the 2001 Atlas of Oregon Wildlife reports that only 240 Cassin’s auklets are estimated to breed on four of the state’s offshore islands. (Common murres have dozens of breeding colonies off Oregon, where they number around 750,000.)
The dead birds are mostly young and appear to have been starving, leading biologists to speculate that this “wreck,” as biologists call it, is tied to an unusually high nesting success among Cassin’s auklets on Triangle Island, off the northern tip of Vancouver Island, site of a large CAAU breeding colony.
“All of this suggests that the Canadian birds migrated down the coast (as is usual during the fall), and ran afoul of winter storms,” COASST director Julia Parrish wrote in an e-mail. “Inept juveniles—of which there were (and probably still are) many—were the first to go. This is the exact pattern we see every year with murres.”
Many questions about this wreck remain to be answered. Parrish plans to address them on the COASST blog, at
Besides their smaller size, dead Cassin’s auklets can be distinguished from common murres by (among other details) their smaller size, their shorter, stouter beak (with the pale spot at the base), their sooty brown backs (common murres are a darker brown), and their gray feathers around the anus (they’re white on the common murre).
By Bonnie Henderson

 Volunteers Needed as Marine Debris Monitoring Project Prepares for Fall
Float carrying non-native mussels. Photo by Charlie Plybon.
The upsurge of marine debris on Oregon’s shoreline late last spring, much of it from the Japanese tsunami and some of it bearing potentially invasive organisms, was a reminder of the continued importance of monitoring for marine debris and cleaning it up. With winter storms on the horizon again, we need to ramp up our marine debris monitoring effort to be ready to respond. Here's a handout on our current project--please pass this along to others to help us build the strength of our community teams.
CoastWatch has been working with four partner groups as the Oregon Marine Debris Team (OMDT) to address the debris problem. This involves scouting the shoreline for debris and organizing cleanups. It also involves a citizen science project, through which teams of volunteers survey sites on a regular basis and develop data about the amounts and types of debris washing up on our coast. Plus, it involves scouting for potential invasive organisms ferried on tsunami debris.
Fawn Custer, our CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, is heading up this effort on behalf of the OMDT. Our goal is to organize teams to conduct monthly surveys at 11 sites. We now have 10 sites up and running. The 11th site is wide open to anyone who wants to pull together a team. Thanks to funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), made available through Oregon Sea Grant (one of our OMDT partners), we provide $500 “community grants” to assist these teams in purchasing equipment and covering transportation costs. The teams commit to regular surveys using a formal NOAA protocol. We provide training and support.
Even where we have teams actively working, help is needed to augment the group so that there will always be enough volunteers to cover the site each month. Contact Fawn to learn where new volunteers are especially needed (but you are welcome to participate anywhere). A particular goal is to gather solid data on marine debris on shorelines in the vicinity of Oregon's new marine reserves.
The existing teams include two in Clatsop County, two in Lincoln County, two in Curry County and one each in Douglas, Coos, Tillamook and Lane counties. No prior experience is necessary. Training and support will be provided by the Oregon Marine Debris Team (OMDT), a partnership among four non-profit organizations—CoastWatch, Surfrider, SOLVE, Washed Ashore—plus Oregon Sea Grant. The OMDT actively collaborates with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
For information or to volunteer, contact Fawn Custer: via email, (541) 270-0027. Or go to the OMDT website, click here. Contact Fawn also if you would be willing to help scout any stretch of the Oregon shoreline for marine debris on a regular basis.

 Symposium Focuses on All Things Cape Perpetua
Cape Perpetua. Photo by Jason Waicunas
The second annual Cape Perpetua Land-Sea Symposium is coming up on Friday, Nov. 21, 5:30-8:30 p.m., in the Yachats Commons (on Highway 101 in central Yachats). The event is free and open to the public.
The symposium is a community event, hosted by the Surfrider Foundation, Audubon Society of Portland and the Cape Perpetua Foundation, aimed at raising awareness about local conservation and current research as well as fostering stewardship within the Cape Perpetua nearshore and adjacent watersheds. Last year’s inaugural event was a resounding success.
In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, this year’s event will feature Jim Furnish, former Deputy Chief of the 192-million-acre National Forest System, as keynote speaker. Prior to his tenure as Deputy Chief, Furnish served as Siuslaw National Forest Supervisor, directing a reformation from a timber-dominated mission to one of conservation biology under the Northwest Forest Plan with significant contributions to the Cape Perpetua area.
The keynote will be followed by talks from science historian Carmel Finley, intertidal scientists Kristen Milligan and Jessica Watson of PISCO and others, plus short presentations from various research and monitoring projects within the Cape Perpetua nearshore, and a social mixer with light appetizers and beverages to identify topics of future interest and ways to collaborate with greater capacity. CoastWatch will have a table there—this will be a chance to sign up for citizen science projects in the area.
To register, go here.
For more information, contact Joe Liebezeit of Audubon, (971) 222-6111,

 Donate-While-You-Shop Program Benefits Oregon Shores and CoastWatch
Ocean spray. Photo by Kitty Brigham.
Coastal conservationists can support Oregon Shores and CoastWatch while shopping, without spending an extra penny.
Fred Meyer’s Community Rewards program divides up $2.5 million each year among non-profit organizations whose members or other supporters designate them as beneficiaries. If you shop at Fred Meyer, please consider helping Oregon Shores to protect the coast with every purchase.
Sign up for the Community Rewards program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Oregon Shores at You can search for us by our name or by our non-profit number, 92817.
Once you’ve done this, every time you use your Rewards Card, you help to build Oregon Shores’ stake in the company’s annual charitable giving. The amount received by the organization depends on the amount of spending attributed to us—the $2.5 million is divided up proportionately among the non-profits in the program.
Purchasers still earn Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates—their own benefits as shoppers aren’t reduced. If you do not have a Rewards Card, they are available at the Customer Service desk of any Fred Meyer store.
For more information about the program, go to
Contact: Phillip Johnson, Executive Director, (503) 754-9303, or EMAIL

 Coos Bay Lecture Surveys Coastal Erosion and Flooding
The link between the erosion we see on Oregon’s coast and climate change will be explored in the next installment of Southwestern Oregon Community College's geology lecture series. Jonathan Allan of DOGAMI (the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries) speaks on continues on “Shoreline Erosion and Flood Hazards on the Oregon Coast Due to Earth’s Changing Climate” on Friday, November 14 at 7 ... MORE 
  MILE 297  NehalemBay — This was a cloudy but windless day, pleasantly warm for this time of year. The ocean was roiling which made for a dramatic scene. There was only one person walking on the beach and no dogs or ...  MORE 
  MILE 236  Streets — This is always such a clean beach, but I've started collecting non-biodegradable debris, and it has slowed me down and made me a lot more observant. Today I picked up a full bag of trash: mostly soda ...  MORE 
  MILE 239  ORbeach — A pleasant, calm day after two weeks of cold rain and storms; nevertheless had the beach to myself except for one gentleman walking. Very little debris noted ... only picked up a few items in the ...  MORE 
  MILE 222  Batthecat — Took a walk on the "fossil" beach (between Coal and Wade Creeks) Sunday and came upon the pipes and the giant pile of ropes. Who should know about the rope pile? SOLVE? Presume people already know ...  MORE 
  MILE 40  azbeach — Mussel Creek continues to flow south to north, and then west to join the ocean. The water volume is lower and sand mounds interrupt the usually free-flowing waters. From observation, the BLOY ...  MORE 
  MILE 102  beachnut — Going south from the Coquille River was positively crowded (8 people, 7 dogs) between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. But it was a lovely morning with light wind and great sunrise color. Tide was low at 2.3 feet. ...  MORE 
  MILE 251  Sea Lion Klag — November Report  MORE 
  MILE 210  Volunteer Coordinator DISPATCH  — New Signs on beaches to help with emergency calls. You may have one like the one here at Lost Creek. Large black number on a yellow reflective background When calling 911 to report an emergency on ...  MORE 
  MILE 103  beachnut — A few seagulls and a guy with 2 unleashed dogs were the only critters out on this lovely but chilly morning after 7. Small stones and scattered tree parts, bull kelp plus a few shell fragments ...  MORE 
  MILE 292  Mershlo DISPATCH  — Dead starfish  MORE 
  MILE 48  brookingsbill DISPATCH  — First time ever walking this beach after many many times observing it from the public rest area on the bluff above. Surprised at the amount of people using the beach at this time of year Very ...  MORE 
  MILE 198  bahngarten — Light SW breeze, cloudy morning, with light drizzle. 1 immature bald eagle flying N, 12+ Ringbill gulls at tide's edge. 9 people, 4 dogs walking. Moderate amounts of razor clam shells. Several 8-10" ...  MORE 
  MILE 244  rainydaywalker — Fourteen colonies of those small, oval beads and a yard-long by 2-foot-wide cluster of live mussels in varying sizes up to 4 inches rested along a spotty wrack. Fifteen clusters of a green-leafed ...  MORE 
  MILE 195  WetWabbit — It was a lovely, sunny afternoon with some cumulus on the horizon, but there were few beach or trail walkers. No unusual human activity was spotted. One dead bird was found(photo attached).It was ...  MORE 
  MILE 236  Streets — Gorgeous day - nice to see people on the beach, though I was a bit worried about kids in the surf! Fresh Brown pelican carcass found; remains of two dead sea lions still on beach.  MORE 
  MILE 281  Kathy C — October Report  MORE 
  MILE 244  rainydaywalker — This was the south part of my beach, going along grass line, returning near water line. I started at 8:30 a.m. and finished at 10 a.m. There was a goodly amount of diatoms on the surf, and the surf ...  MORE 
  MILE 101  beachnut DISPATCH  — A dead marine mammal, approximately 7-plus feet in length, was at the base of the rocks just east of Elephant Rock. It apparently came in with the morning's high tide because it was not there ...  MORE 
  MILE 236  Streets — The storm brought in a lot of debris and swept it back out. This beach is so clean! More dead wildlife than usual, however. I shall attach photos for identification.  MORE 
  MILE 208  Batthecat — Quiet day, no "gravel" at all on the beach. Most of the debris from spring storms is gone, including the large drifting tree stump. Layers of sand cover most of the exposed rocks along the mid-tide ...  MORE 
CoastWatch, a citizen monitoring program, engages Oregonians in personal stewardship over their shoreline. Volunteers adopt mile-long segments of Oregon's coast, keeping watch for natural changes and human-induced impacts, reporting on their observations, and sounding the alarm about threats and concerns.

CoastWatch is founded on individual vigilance and responsibility for one portion of the ocean shore. But the program also links hundreds of 'mile adopters' in a coastwide network of concerned citizens taking action to conserve shoreline resources. CoastWatchers serve as an early warning system not only for the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, but also for neighbors along their miles, local government, regulatory agencies and other conservation groups.