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Mile 292 — Tillamook County, Twin Rocks, Heitmiller Creek 
Shalom  DISPATCH — Longnose Lancetfish beached near Saltair creek, discovered near high tide line, about 2 hours after low tide.   COMPLETE DISPATCH  
 Thu May 14, 6:00 PM   Lancetfish tail
Looks like one bite had been taken out of the lancetfish (left side of photo). A seagull waited nearby for us to leave.
Location: Next to Saltair Creek, near high tide line, at Rockaway Beach
 Register Now for CoastWatch's Summer Shoreline Workshops
Students sampling at shoreline science workshop. Photo by Michael Coe.
Registration is now underway for CoastWatch’s 2015 Shoreline Science Workshops. These three-day, intensive encounters with coastal natural history and science are the best opportunity we offer each year to gain a great deal of information about the coastal environment in one concentrated dose. While the workshops are designed to be particularly helpful to volunteers (or prospective volunteers) in our CoastWatch program, all comers are welcome, and the experience will be valuable to anyone who cares about the natural world of the coast.
To register and get more information, go here.
As in past years, these workshops will be led by ecologist Stewart Schultz, author of The Northwest Coast: A Natural History, along with our own CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, Fawn Custer, herself a highly experienced marine educator. You’ll learn about tidepools, beaches and dunes, estuaries and coastal forests, and offshore ecosystems. The workshops consist of a mix of lectures, field trips and laboratory experiences.
The workshops this year will have a special emphasis on our new marine reserves, and on the various citizen science projects through which CoastWatchers (and other community members) can help to monitor them. Here’s the schedule:
*July 18-20
Arch Cape Fire Hall
72979 U.S. 101, Arch Cape
*August 1-3
Depoe Bay Community Hall
220 SE Bay Street, Depoe Bay
*August 14-16
Port Orford Sea Grant meeting room
444 Jackson Street, Port Orford
For more information, contact Fawn Custer, (541) 270-0027,

 CoastWatch Citizen Science Projects Need More Volunteers
Training session for COASST beached bird survey.
CoastWatch has long sponsored several citizen science projects, such as the beached bird survey in which many mile adopters participate. Over the course of the past year, though, we have expanded the range of these projects. We now conduct seven citizen science projects. Through our "Community Engagement with Marine Reserves" project, we are developing a special project to focus citizen science surveys on the areas facing Oregon’s new marine reserves.
We have seven projects up and running. Some are well established, while a couple are just getting started. Some involve joining a team for a formal survey according to scientific protocols; others are simply a matter of CoastWatchers (and other interested citizens) increasing their vigilance for certain types of phenomena they may observe and knowing where to report the information.
To produce good information, while serving as a vehicle for public education about Oregon's marine resources, we'll need many more volunteers for all these projects. Even where we have solid teams already at work, we would like to expand the teams for greater long-term stability, and with many of these projects, we need more volunteers in more places in order to succeed in producing results. Volunteers could be CoastWatchers, other Oregon Shores members, or any interested community member. If you’ve been following this website or CoastWatch bulletins, you’ve already heard about these projects, but this is a reminder, along with a plea for fresh energy and involvement.
The citizen science projects include:
  • The beached bird survey, in which CoastWatch partners with COASST (Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, based at the University of Washington). This involves monthly surveys, using a formal protocol that produces genuine scientific data.
  • Marine debris monitoring, using a protocol developed by NOAA. This project also involves consistent monthly surveys and produces scientifically useful data. See this background paper for more information.
  • The sea star wasting syndrome survey, another project that utilizes a formal protocol (developed by PISCO, the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans) and produces scientific data. Go here for more details.
  • Marine mammal stranding, in cooperation with Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network. This isn't a formal survey, but we actively train and encourage all CoastWatch mile adopters and other volunteers to report all stranded animals, alive or dead, and provide a form on our website that goes directly to the stranding network. This work produces data points for the stranding network.
  • "Beached marine critters" survey, using a protocol that provides an online means of recording observations of stranded sharks, squid, sea turtles and two species of fish. As with the marine mammal stranding network, this doesn't involve a systematic survey, but if enough volunteers know what to look for and file reports regularly, we will produce data points of use to scientists and resource agencies.
  • Invasive species: At present, this primarily involves species carried on tsunami debris, training volunteers in what to look for, how to handle it, and how to report it to scientists at the HMSC. Our goal is to expand training to include other types of invasives that can be observed on the shoreline, such as algae observed either in situ or in the driftline.
  • King Tide photography project, through which volunteers photograph the year's highest tides, both to demonstrate current conditions and to anticipate what will become ordinary tide levels with sea level rise. The year's project is currently underway; see elsewhere on this page for more information or go here.
CoastWatch will provide training for these various citizen science surveys on a continuing basis. To volunteer or for more information, contact Fawn Custer, CoastWatch’s volunteer coordinator, (541) 270-0027,

 Volunteers Sought to Join Marine Debris Monitoring Teams
The recent upsurge of marine debris we saw this spring on Oregon’s shoreline, some of it from the Japanese tsunami and bearing potentially invasive organisms (such as the boat recently found off the Oregon coast and towed to Newport, where it was found to harbor live non-native fish), is a reminder of the continued importance of monitoring for marine debris and cleaning it up. We want to ramp up ... MORE 
 Citizen Science Trainings for Beached Bird Survey Scheduled
CoastWatch has partnered with COASST (the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, based at the University of Washington) to conduct a beached bird survey in Oregon throughout this century. COASST works throughout the West Coast region; CoastWatch serves as the partner for Oregon. The survey is one of our seven citizen science projects.
The next two training sessions for those willing to consider getting involved in this project is coming up Saturday, June 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Lane Community College Florence Center, 3149 Oak St. in Florence and Sunday, June 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the OSU Extension Office at 29390 Ellensburg Ave, Gold Beach, OR.
COASST is dedicated to involving volunteers 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 to 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 prior experience, just a commitment to survey a specific beach (about ¾ mile) each month.
If you are interested in participating, join COASST staff to learn about how the program started, 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 COASST Beached Birds field guide. Training activities take place indoors.
It would be helpful to COASST in planning the session if you would RSVP to or (206) 221-6893. If you are interested but can’t attend this event, you can learn more on the website,
To learn more about CoastWatch’s work on beached birds and other aspects of citizen science, contact Fawn Custer at (541) 270-0027,

 Volunteers Can Help Rid Trail of Invasive Species
The Siuslaw National Forest and City of Yachats are inviting volunteers to celebrate National Trails Day, June 6, by joining an expedition to eradicate Tansy ragwort, an invasive species, from the Cummins Ridge Trail. The trail is part of the Cummins Creek Wilderness, so eliminating non-native species here is especially important.
Tansy ragwort (Senecio jacabaea) is a yellow flowering plant from Europe that is poisonous to livestock when ingested. Honey and milk derived from animals exposed to the plant contain the toxin as well.
Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, 2400 S. Hwy. 101 (south of Yachats), where they will then carpool or be shuttled to the nearby Cummins Creek Wilderness. Volunteers will hike 2.5 miles (one-way) along the trail, removing any Tansy ragwort plants they encounter.
Participants will be treated to a brief Native American flute performance before the event, and then a free lunch afterwards. Tools and water will be available during the hike, but volunteers are encouraged to bring their own gloves, water bottles and gardening tools.
The Siuslaw National Forest will be waiving all day-use fees during National Trails Day. To participate in the event and RSVP for lunch, contact Cape Perpetua Volunteer Coordinator Susan Fox at (541) 547-3289,

 Black Oystercatchers Call to Citizen Scientists
The Audubon Society of Portland, Oregon Shores’ partner in the Oregon Marine Reserves Partnership, is launching a citizen science project devoted to Black oystercatchers, those rocky-shore-dwelling birds with the orange bills and the distinctive cry. The goal is to better understand how these birds use the intertidal area, especially those near our marine reserves. They are partnering on this ... MORE 
 Request Goes Out to Watch for Non-Native Algae
The derelict vessel found floating off Oregon’s coast, which was the subject of an earlier alert, has been towed to Newport and examined by scientists. Few animal species were found clinging to the vessel, but it was festooned with algae. Since these were species from the western Pacific, it is clear that the unidentified vessel comes from Asia, and is probably debris from the 2011 Japanese ... MORE 
 Photographers Can Aid Effort to Compile Global Snapshot
If you are planning to aim your camera at the Oregon coast (or anywhere else in nature) between now and May 25, you can aid iNaturalist and the National Geographic Society in compiling a “Global Snapshot of Biodiversity.” To participate you’ll need to go to the iNaturalist website and download their app. The project is a global “bioblitz,” to collaboratively document as many species as possible ... MORE 
 Volunteers Needed to Transport Distressed Wildlife
CoastWatch has received the following request for help from the Wildlife Center of the North Coast. We can testify that they do excellent work: “Wildlife Center of the North Coast needs volunteers to help transport distressed wildlife part way to Astoria from the Newport, Lincoln City or Pacific City regions. The Wildlife Center is a volunteer based private non-profit organization located near ... MORE 
  Snowy Plover Nesting Season Begins, with an Addition
Nesting season for Western snowy plovers, a federally threatened shorebird that nests on the sandy shore, is underway on Oregon beaches. Beachgoers are asked to follow nesting season restrictions, which continue through September 15 on certain Oregon beaches to protect snowy plover eggs and young. CoastWatchers can help by paying special attention to the plover exclusion zones and keeping an eye ... MORE 
 County Fee Could Limit Access to Douglas County Shoreline
Oregon Shores has always strongly advocated for free access to the public shoreline. While there are valid reasons for charging fees for camping and other services, simple access to nature should be open to all. When Sam Boardman created Oregon’s state park system beginning in 1929, he concentrated on establishing a network of coastal parks and pull-outs for the precise purpose of providing ... MORE 
 Watch for By-the-wind Sailors Stranded on Our Shores
Every avid Oregon beachcomber is familiar with Velella velella, or by-the-wind sailors: little (typically 4 to 6 cm.) violet-blue floating creatures that are often stranded by the hundreds or thousands on the beach April through July. This year, as many beachgoers have noted, they have stranded by the hundreds of thousands--but this is still part of the natural cycle. They live in vast ... MORE 
  MILE 248  Dr Kayak — I rescued two capsized kayakers in chaotic surf off the mouth of the Salmon River. Conditions were surprisingly rough for a supposedly 4-ft swell, and there was a nasty rip current running out along ...  MORE 
  MILE 236  Streets — Surprisingly clean beach for a holiday weekend. Evidence of numerous bonfires, all but one completely out.  MORE 
  MILE 293  stu&barb — Plenty of people and dogs out enjoying a cloudy, mild late afternoon. Unfortunately, there was also plenty of garbage and debris to be found as well. Filled two kitchen garbage bags with assorted ...  MORE 
  MILE 102  beachnut — The beach at 5:30 a.m. was quiet, calm and mostly without life forms of any sort. Some gulls gathered close to Table Rock, approachable because of the minus 1.7 tide. Other beachgoers were the ...  MORE 
  MILE 103  beachnut — Calm seas and air and a minus 1.4-foot tide made for a lovely outing at 6 a.m. You could mistake the white drifts in the high-tide line for snow--but the stink of bleaching Velella velella quickly ...  MORE 
  MILE 292  Shalom DISPATCH  — Longnose Lancetfish beached near Saltair creek, discovered near high tide line, about 2 hours after low tide.  MORE 
  MILE 46  Redfish Rocks Community Team — Overall, it was a great day on the beach. The sand is coming back in and beginning to cover the bedrock that it was scoured down to over late summer, fall and the winter months. Algae is also ...  MORE 
  MILE 220  lmabeggs — The major feature of the beach today was the presence of Velella velella all along the beach. Since my last visit there has been continued erosion along bluff exposed to wave action. There are areas ...  MORE 
  MILE 183  RMSherriffs — Bluff erosion: several 15' - 30' wide slides onto beach. Beach extremely clean. No plastic found. South section: Gulls standing around mouth of Rock Creek. North Section: 3 people in lot and 1 ...  MORE 
  MILE 311  HistoryLover — The beach had a light amount of debris and a large number of dead Purple Sails or velella velella on the beach. Healthy, lightly used beach!  MORE 
  MILE 233  Fran Recht — Lots of agate hunters for this minus tide event (-0.34 at 11:40 a.m.) on Mother's Day. A few children (4) a few dogs (3) no major issues, little trash, gray whales visible just beyond surf zone.  MORE 
  MILE 258  Cynthia & Kevin — A delightful day on the coast. Low tide of -0.06. Large area of shell fragments seen, several groups of shore birds along with a mother harbour seal and her 3 pups by the spit. Also seen were 2 ...  MORE 
  MILE 101  beachnut DISPATCH  — I've been watching this baby seal for 4 days. Day 1 saw it active, the rest not at all. Its position has not changed and it appears to be dead. However, the birds and other critters have not touched ...  MORE 
  MILE 116  eekramer — A high number of people for this mile, enjoying the low tide. Will be returning with a mission to track the number of sea stars and sea urchins. Will edit report once I identify the unusual creature ...  MORE 
  MILE 168  PhotoJim — Northern part of mile 168, not much activity.  MORE 
  MILE 101  beachnut DISPATCH  — Reporting a dead harbor seal on the high-tide line at the very northern edge of Mile 101 below Coquille Point. It has been there several days, and now the head has been picked over by birds: turkey ...  MORE 
  MILE 31  Lorenzo2 — Thousands of Velella velella washed up.  MORE 
  MILE 14  artist — It was a sunny warm day with cool ocean breezes. The only noteworthy change was the short spur trail mentioned on previous page.  MORE 
  MILE 198  bahngarten — Calm slightly hazy 40' morning. 12 people, 4 dogs walking. Notable, large amounts of Velella velella at driftline. 2 whimbrels feeding at driftline, small flock of flying unidentified sandpipers, 1 ...  MORE 
  MILE 119  dpackard — Person observed disturbing birds. I haven't been here in a couple years. Still a magical place.  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.