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Mile 245 — Lincoln County, Roads End Beach, Wayside, Logan Creek 
TerryH  DISPATCH — Salp stranding has continued for about 2 weeks. Hard to get a picture of the tiny critters but they are evident up and down Roads End beach. Slightly pink and can stick to your feet. Upwelling ...   COMPLETE DISPATCH  
 Fri Sep 4, 2:30 PM   Salps
Location: Up and down Roads End beach
 Shore Watchers on Track of Purple Tides
Mysterious purple patches are being observed along the coast. Photo courtesy of Beach Connection.
Numerous reports have been coming in concerning “purple water” or “a gelatinous purple mass” in the water. There have been sightings at Roads End, Neskowin and elsewhere (for example, see the latest mile report on Mile 253).
We’re trying to help track this and discover what it is. CoastWatchers spotting anything purplish on the water or beach are asked to file a Dispatch or mile report if at all possible, and in any case contact Fawn Custer, our volunteer coordinator, at (541) 270-0027, If possible, we will arrange for water samples to be taken.
We contacted Dr. Cynthia Trowbridge, an expert on shoreline organisms and known to many mile adopters for teaching many CoastWatch training sessions over the years. She replied:
“Without a water sample to see the organism, it would be hard to say. One strong possibility is the planktonic ciliate Mesodinium rubrum that ingests cryptomonads so can be orange, red, purple, or brown. It forms red tides but these are protozoan, not dinoflagellate red tides. The species is common in Oregon at this time of year and worldwide in spring and/or summer. Because ciliates are mobile animals, the blooms pulse and move. They are non-toxic except they do respire so bloom conditions can strip oxygen out of the water column at night at suffocate other organisms. If the specimens jump around like fleas in the water, it would be Mesodinium.”
We also received a comment from Diane Bilderback, our former Coos County coordinator:
“Here on the south coast, we have been having a wash up of a pelagic purple tunicate, Dolioletta gegenbauri, that at times causes a deep purple wash on the beach and also has colored small sand pools. This wash has been seen here since 7/8 through 8/23 so far. The wash is in varying amounts. Sometimes it is very heavy with purple bands over a foot wide, thick and gelatinous, and other times it is just a light inch or slightly larger thin but still a purplish colored band. Dave took the photo under the dissecting scope. We wonder if this is the organism that is causing the “purple colored water” up in the north coast.”
The latest news is that salps are the likely cause. According to a message from Caren Braby, manager of marine resources for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, “My staff have been communicating with WDFW (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) and taken samples at Clatsop Beach. They are a huge bloom of juvenile salps - a gelatinous VERTEBRATE, more closely related to fish than to jellies. This may be an unusual sight for us because of two or more possible (hypothetical) reasons: 1) they may be blooming significantly this year due to unusual ocean conditions, or 2) they are usually out there but this year they are onshore due to the suppressed upwelling (the "blob") pressed up alongshore."
Marine algae expert (and CoastWatcher) Gayle Hansen has offered to attempt to identify the organism for sure if people will bring her samples. If you are able to collect samples (and are within range of Newport) bring them to Gayle at her office in the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. She has observed repeated blooms of Mesodinium in Oregon estuaries and occasionally in nearshore ocean waters. She she notes, “During the Mesodinium bloom in 2004, the oysters at our local oyster farm turned pink -- making them designer oysters! Luckily the ciliate is not toxic and it did not damage the oyster crop. It will be interesting to see if the new bloom is this as well.”
Contact Gayle at 541-867-5012 (lab),
For more images of the “purple tide,” go to the Oregon Shores Facebook page, or to CoastWatch mile 253 to look at photos.
CoastWatcher Range Bayer has supplied links that may be of related interest:
Scientific American, August 11, 2015. "Massive Toxic Algae Blooms May Prove a Sign of Climate Change to Come" view here
NOAA, August 6, 2015: "Record-setting bloom of toxic algae in North Pacific" click here

 New CoastWatch Intern Introduces Herself to Mile Adopters
Hey all! Now that I have had the time to settle into my position as CoastWatch intern I wanted to greet everyone and invite you all to contact me. My name is Sabrina Ehler and I’m a senior at Oregon State University. I am studying fisheries and wildlife with a specialization in law enforcement. I became aware of, and interested in the CoastWatch program through a fellow student at OSU and ... MORE 
 Join CoastWatch for Upcoming Citizen Science Activities
Volunteers are always needed for CoastWatch’s suite of citizen science surveys. Several opportunities are coming up to join one of these regular expeditions. You are welcome to come along just to help out on the occasion and learn about citizen science. You are also invited to join the team, or to get involved later at another location. For those in the Coos County area, the team handling our ... MORE 
 CoastWatch Citizen Science Projects Need More Volunteers
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 ... MORE 
 Sea Star Survey Event Coming up at Cape Perpetua
Volunteers tallying sea stars. Photo by Fawn Custer.
Fawn Custer, our CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, will lead a training for potential volunteers in our sea star survey this Wednesday, Sept. 2, at Devil's Churn on Cape Perpetua (CoastWatch Mile 190), about three miles south of Yachats. The specific goal is to establish a new site at that location, with volunteers ready and willing to conduct the survey there. This is a particularly important site, as it is linked to the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve. However, those who are simply interested in learning about this citizen science project, and possibly volunteering at a site elsewhere, are encouraged to attend as well.
Meet at the Devil's Churn parking lot at 8 a.m. Be prepared to get feet wet.
The sea star survey follows a scientific protocol and results in data that can be used by researchers. Initially the sad task was to monitor the drastic decline of sea stars due to "wasting syndrome." This year the much happier prospect is documenting the increasing "recruitment" of baby sea stars to the rocky shore habitat.
For information, to let her know you're coming, or to ask about volunteering elsewhere, contact Fawn at (541) 270-0027,

 Cape Perpetua Volunteer Appreciation Event Planned
Our friends and allies with Surfrider and the Audubon Society have set up a special event to thank the many volunteers who have become engaged with citizen science and interpretation for the public in the area of the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve. Future volunteers are welcome, too! The Cape Perpetua Volunteer Appreciation and Fish Grill takes place Friday, September 4, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. in the ... MORE 
 Guided Walk Offered on Future Sand Lake Park Land
Marsh in the Sand Lake estuary. Photo by Jim Hauge.
Planning is underway for the future state park to be located on the former “Beltz Farm” property on the Sand Lake Spit. You’ll find an article about this elsewhere on this page.
To learn more about the area’s natural history, you can join a guided walk sponsored by the North Coast Land Conservancy (NCLC), Thursday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m.-noon. The walk, led by NCLC Executive Director Katie Voelke, takes place at the Clay Myers State Natural Area on Whalen Island, in the Sand Lake estuary just across a tidal channel from the spit. (A decade or so ago, Oregon Shores advocated vigorously for the purchase of Whalen Island from private owners to forestall any development there, and the purchase and subsequent development of this park, managed for its natural habitat, was one of our great moments.)
Located between Cape Kiwanda and Cape Lookout, Sand Lake is one of Oregon’s best-conserved estuaries thanks to the efforts by the State of Oregon (it is one of five estuaries zoned “natural” through our land use planning system) and private land trusts including NCLC, which owns and manages 215 acres in the northeast corner of the estuary. The walk affords an opportunity to learn about the ecology at this bar-built estuary—one of only four on the Oregon Coast—and experience for yourself this unique and particularly undeveloped estuary. Voelke is a former field biologist who worked for the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife before joining NCLC as its first stewardship director in 2005; three years later she took the helm as executive director.
The loop walk will follow a rolling trail for 1.5 miles. The path is well maintained. Bring water and snacks, wear sturdy walking shoes and dress for the day’s weather. Binoculars for bird and wildlife spotting are encouraged.
The walk is free, but registration is required because places are limited. Contact the North Coast Land Conservancy, (503) 738-9126,

 Photos Shared with Oregon Shores Help Us Illustrate Our Work
As you've likely noticed if you visit this website regularly, Oregon Shores uses numerous photographs of the shoreline and of the entire coastal region. We illustrate articles on this website, and we also use photos in newsletters and e-bulletins and in various other publications, such as CoastWatch handouts. We’re constantly searching for new images of the coast. Some we seek for their sheer ... 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 
  MILE 245  TerryH DISPATCH  — Salp stranding has continued for about 2 weeks. Hard to get a picture of the tiny critters but they are evident up and down Roads End beach. Slightly pink and can stick to your feet. Upwelling ...  MORE 
  MILE 245  BP Van B DISPATCH  — About 1/4 to 1/2 miles from the north Roads End Beach entrance I discovered and photographed several (I think I counted 17) dead murres and one dead cormorant at the high tide rack line. I was ...  MORE 
  MILE 190  LyndaC — Initially cloudy with a bit of drizzle, becoming a sunny, pleasant day With Fawn Custer and student, at Cape Cove beach rock noted for future low tide observations and sea star survey performed. >15 ...  MORE 
  MILE 208  Batthecat — Evidence of last week's storm with the amount of sand stacked into logs. Most of the logs that were there three months ago are either gone or pushed up to the base of the cliffs. Found several ...  MORE 
  MILE 306  Frankie — After the storm, the beach was scoured clean. All the changes listed in the August 29 dispatch had disappeared.The sand on the beach was smooth. No washed up logs. Very little detritus.  MORE 
  MILE 313  Simonetal DISPATCH  — Ecola Creek Watershed Council tested the water at the Gower Street outfall and the beach at Gower Street on Saturday August 29th and is advising to STAY OUT OF THE WATER due to high readings of ...  MORE 
  MILE 238  KiwiMcK — A warm overcast day. Five people, two dogs walking on the beach. Plastic bottles, handles and float parts picked up as trash. Four dead birds at the north end of the mile. See attached photos.  MORE 
  MILE 40  azbeach — Tracks of apparently illegal vehicle spotted. Black oystercatchers, turkey vulture, osprey observed.  MORE 
  MILE 103  beachnut — To quote the Eagles: Nobody on the beach. Nobody in the parking areas either. And almost no critters on the beach except for gulls and the little "sand hoppers". Shell fragments, gravel, kelp and ...  MORE 
  MILE 102  beachnut — The northern segment was fairly uneventful at 6 a.m. on a cloudy, windless morning around 60 degrees. Gulls, a scattering of sanderlings and scads of small sand-hopping insects were out and about. ...  MORE 
  MILE 185  Volunteer Coordinator DISPATCH  — We saw purple water here at about 7PM yesterday, approx 10 feet long 10 feet wide on shore. Ocean Haven, near the mouth of Tokatee creek. ** Christine  MORE 
  MILE 275  Allison — I have been down on my mile every day for a week the numbers of people weddings dead birds rambling dogs occupied beach chairs has been never seen before by me Ive walked that beach since ...  MORE 
  MILE 300 — Dead murres on north beach of Manzanita  MORE 
  MILE 14  artist — Aside from the tunnel-like trail situation in the draw just north of the dunes (see photo), there are no apparent problems. And State Parks rangers whom I notified may work on the section of trail in ...  MORE 
  MILE 96  Volunteer Coordinator DISPATCH  — Report from Diane and Dave Bilderback Here on the south coast, we have been having a wash up of a pelagic purple tunicate, Dolioletta gegenbauri, that at times causes a deep purple wash on the beach ...  MORE 
  MILE 245  TerryH DISPATCH  — Wind shifted and now a smokey haze at the beach due to the wildfires inland. You can smell it. Park Ranger Evan still planning to de-limb the dead fir trees on the north end of beach.  MORE 
  MILE 220  lmabeggs — The beach is very sandy, covering large rocks that are visible in the winter months. Very little plastic or man made objects noted on this trip. This beach does not have a large number of people on ...  MORE 
  MILE 197  mudslide — A pleasant day; the beach was very clean. I picked up only four small pieces of plastic debris. I was surprised at how few people were out, given the inviting conditions. Of the four dogs I saw, ...  MORE 
  MILE 180  billmaxmcw — Continued bluff erosion N. of Heceta Head. Unexpected freshwater spring activity there. Little debris, mostly shore-based. N. wind scouring. Lots of people enjoying beautiful day on the beach.  MORE 
  MILE 225  driscolke — This is a large tidal/sandy beach area available for on-foot inspection. The whales spouting, single seal, abundant marine tidal pool creatures was wonderful. Although I've visited this area numerous ...  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.