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Mile 202 — Lincoln County, North Spit Alsea River 
Unbound — Several days of big wind and rainstorms brought lots of debris to mile 202/North Alsea Bay. We encountered a greater-than-usual amount of driftwood on the beach as well as big stumps and logs ...   COMPLETE REPORT  
 Sun Oct 26, 12:00 AM   North End of Mile 202 Looking South
A shot of Mile 202 looking south from the north end. Most of the debris was found on the south portion of the mile near the north shore of the Alsea bay.
Location: Mile 202 North Alsea Bay, Bayshore, OR
Copyright: (c)2014 John DuBois
 Keep Watch for Transponders While on the Shore
Japanese transponder
Most CoastWatchers and other beachcombers are highly aware of the debris generated by the Japanese tsunami of 2011 that has been reaching our shores. But now an alert has gone out concerning “debris” that was tossed into the sea deliberately. CoastWatchers and other Oregon Shores members who walk the beach may be able to help.
After the tsunami took place, scientists released instruments known as “transponders” to track the movements of debris. These floating instruments are about the size of a 2-liter soda bottle and were set in the ocean from different ports off Japan in 2011-12 after the massive Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Researchers from Tattori University for Environmental Studies in Japan have been collaborating with Oregon State University, Oregon Sea Grant, and the NOAA Marine Debris Program on the project.
The researchers’ goal is to track the movement of debris via ocean currents and help determine the path and timing of the debris from the 2011 disaster. An estimated 1.5 million tons of debris was washed out to sea and it is expected to continue drifting ashore along the West Coast of the United States for several years.
“These transponders only have a battery life of about 30 months and then they no longer communicate their location,” says Sea Grant’s Sam Chan (who is known to many CoastWatchers, having provided training on invasive species on a number of occasions). “So the only way to find out where they end up is to physically find them and report their location. That’s why we need the help of fishermen, beachcombers and other coastal visitors.”
These transponders contain transmitters and are not hazardous. Persons who find a transponder are asked to photograph it if possible, and report the location of their find to Chan at; or to the NOAA Marine Debris Program regional coordinator in their area at They will provide shipping instructions to persons who find the transponders so that the instruments can be returned to the research team.
One of the first transponders discovered in the Northwest washed ashore near Arch Cape in March, 2013, about 19 months after it was set adrift. The persons who found it reported it to Chan, who began collaborating with researchers in Japan.

 Volunteers Needed as Marine Debris Monitoring Project Prepares for Fall
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. CoastWatch has been ... MORE 
 Beached Bird Survey Trainings Offered for Prospective Citizen Scientists
COASST field training
CoastWatch serves as the Oregon partner for the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST). Through this citizen science project, volunteers from all backgrounds can learn to participate in the collection of high quality data on the status of coastal beaches, and trends of seabirds. The goal is to assist government agencies and other organizations in making informed management and conservation decisions, and promote proactive citizen involvement and action.
COASST volunteers systematically count and identify bird carcasses that wash ashore along ocean beaches from northern California to Alaska. Volunteers need no experience with birds, just a commitment to survey a specific beach (about 3/4 mile) each month. CoastWatch works with COASST (based at the University of Washington) to recruit volunteers and make sure that Oregon sites are consistently covered.
If you are interested in participating, we periodically sponsor opportunities to join COASST staff for a full, 6-hour training session. In these sessions, you’ll learn about how COASST started and how the program works, learn how to use the custom Beached Birds field guide, and try out your new skills with some actual specimens. There is no charge to attend a training, but plan to provide a $20 refundable deposit if you would like to take home a COASST volunteer kit complete with a Beached Birds field guide. Training activities take place indoors.
Two such training sessions were held recently, and we haven't scheduled the next set, but watch this website for future opportunities. But you don't have to wait until then. If you would like to join one of the existing beached bird survey teams, or simply accompany one to see if this form of citizen science is for you, contact Fawn Custer, CoastWatch's volunteer coordinator, at (541) 270-0027.
You can also contact COASST to learn about the program and future training sessions (including those planned for the southern Washington or northern California coasts, which might be reachable for Oregonians. Go to or call (206) 221-6893 for additional information on upcoming events and trainings.

 Haystack Rock Group Exhibits Love for Coast
Matt Love
The Friends of Haystack Rock kick off their annual lecture series with a talk by well-known coastal author and raconteur Matt Love, speaking on “One Writer’s Muse: The Oregon Coast.
Love will appear on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. in the Cannon Beach Community Hall (2nd and Spruce streets). The event is free and open to the public.
In the last decade, Love has written six books directly inspired by stories originating on the Oregon coast, ranging from the unique legacy of the state's publicly owned beaches to rain to Sometimes a Great Notion (the movie) to caretaking a wildlife refuge to the Yaquina Bay Bridge. He will share the story of how he approached these topics and started his own publishing company to distribute them in an interactive multi-media presentation.
Love now lives in Astoria and is the publisher of Nestucca Spit Press. In 2009, he won Oregon Literary Arts’ Steward H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Aware for his contributions to Oregon history and literature.
The lecture series continues on the second Wednesday of each month through April. Subsequent events will take place at the Cannon Beach Library.

 Lecture Will Consider Plastic Marine Debris as Geological Factor
Some have described our current era as “the plasticene age,” given that future geologists are likely to find a layer of indestructible plastic in sediments and rock formations, long after we are gone. It is appropriate, then, that this academic year’s Geology Lecture Series at Southwestern Oregon Community College kicks off with a talk by Giora Proskurowski on “Plastic in the Global Ocean.” The ... MORE 
 Cascade Head Symposium Will Explore Area’s Science and Conservation
Those who have a special interest in the Cascade Head area, whether from the standpoint of scientific research, conservation or simply appreciation of one of the coast’s most beautiful places, will wish to take note of the Cascade Head Science Symposium. This intensely place-based event takes place Oct. 24-25 at Westwind on the Salmon River spit. Jointly sponsored by the Westwind Stewardship ... MORE 
  MILE 106  amyfra — There were a greater number of dead birds on the beach after Saturday's storm. Unfortunately a large number of dead pelicans at the high tide line. From the 3 mile walk from Bullards parking area I ...  MORE 
  MILE 101  beachnut DISPATCH  — Two pelicans' bodies occupy the storm high-tide line just below the three-level motel units fronting Beach Loop Rd. No tags or obvious signs of injury. They could be part of the large group of ...  MORE 
  MILE 185  lfleming — A variable day to do our mile, starting with sun and ending with a huge downpour in one hour. The low tide was very high (2.3) so we did a fast walk as far as we could get down the beach. There ...  MORE 
  MILE 102  beachnut DISPATCH  — A young harbor seal occupies the high-tide line a few yards south of the 3 houses closest to the South Jetty. It is dead, eyes pecked out, and has a raw spot of several inches on the right rear ...  MORE 
  MILE 202  Unbound — Several days of big wind and rainstorms brought lots of debris to mile 202/North Alsea Bay. We encountered a greater-than-usual amount of driftwood on the beach as well as big stumps and logs ...  MORE 
  MILE 29  sparks — Great, quiet day on the beach. Not much wildlife around at all, but the swell was giant and crashing on this low tide. There was a dead pinniped on the beach that looked like it had been there for ...  MORE 
  MILE 31  Lorenzo2 — I don't know the species of the whale. I would like you to inform me. It is a baleen-type, as can be seen by looking at the mouth. It is located 3/4 mi. S. of Otter Point. There is a wound ...  MORE 
  MILE 117  Jhorse — North Cove of Cape Arago was fairly clean of debris other than boat hull on north end. Did remove laundry basket, crab bait basket, water bottle, beer can and piece of flat plastic. Not bad on the ...  MORE 
  MILE 300  markos — Excess of dead birds on mile 300  MORE 
  MILE 10  SMathis — Extreme Surf. Beach scrubbed clean.  MORE 
  MILE 99  Ron Bandon — A crowd of 20 -- a big turnout for this beach in the fall -- attracted by a calm foggy day (about to turn sunny) and a high King Tide that made for dramatic surf-watching. The summer buildup of sand ...  MORE 
  MILE 301  beachmike — Sneaker Waves seen on the beach this morning. National Weather Service warns that more may possible on Sunday. Everyone appears to be minding them though. Overall, the beach is really clean right ...  MORE 
  MILE 110  skimmer — High tides were keeping the beach fairly clean.  MORE 
  MILE 281  kkrall — Foggy but warm lovely day. Note large amount of eel grass from tunnel south to the Capes. In this same area, unusually large number of dead murres. Saw one raven eating one dead murre. Examined ...  MORE 
  MILE 111  whiskeydevil — Kinda cool tree in surf.  MORE 
  MILE 183  RMSherriffs — Part of jellyfish and eel crass in surf line, groups of black waterbirds beyond surf line.  MORE 
  MILE 190  LyndaC — A grey day at the coast, but a good number of people enjoying the day.  MORE 
  MILE 300  markos — I've seen 4 dead Grebes on mile 300  MORE 
  MILE 245  TerryH DISPATCH  — Dead sea lion, 5-6 ft in length. Far north end of Roads End mile. One wound looked like a gunshot. Tire tracks in the sand indicate the park ranger had made a recent visit. Marine mammal report ...  MORE 
  MILE 198  bahngarten — Clear calm autumn morning, 11 people, 5 dogs walking beach. Moderate amount of clear half-dollar- sized jellyfish along tideline. 1 carcass common murre in sand. Shells, sand fleas, and small ...  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.