Log In  
    Who We Are  
    Coastal Goods  
    Contact Us  
    Tour of the Miles  
    Watchful Eyes  
    CoastWatcher's Bookshelf  
    Coastwatcher's Knapsack  
    Filing a Mile Report:  
       Getting Started Online  
       Online Mile Report  
       Online Mile Dispatch  
       Paper Report form  
       Observation Checklist  
       Mile Reports Browser  
       Summaries by County  
    OPRD Planning Maps  
    The Wide, Wide Sea  
    Marine Reserves  
    Position: Marine Reserves  
    Position: Ocean Energy  
Mile 243 — Lincoln County, Wecoma Beach, Lincoln City 
sciencedave — Dead sea lion (marked with a red X) between NW 34th and NW 26th St in front of Surftides.    COMPLETE REPORT  
 Tue Aug 23, 12:00 AM   Dead Sea Lion
Location: In front of Surftides between NW 34th and NW26th Sts.
Copyright: Not
 Continuing Alerts Reveal Beach Water Problems
Children play in frequently polluted Ecola Creek outfall in Cannon Beach. Photo by Gretel and Tom Oxwang.
The Oregon Health Authority issued two new health advisories this week. One wasfor Rockaway, in Tillamook County, where testing of ocean waters washing the shore at S. 6th Ave. indicated a serious pollution problem. What’s more, a freshwater location in Rockaway, Saltair Creek, also tested well above safe levels of bacteria (enterococcus).
The other advisory was issued for Seal Rock State Park’s beach in Lincoln County this week (Aug 10), where the state’s beach water testing program also found unacceptable levels of bacteria.
Both advisories have now been lifted, but the fact that they were necessary at all points toward the effect of land sources of pollution on our nearshore ocean waters.
While an advisory is in effect, visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean. Even if there is no advisory in effect, officials recommend avoiding swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm in these areas.
These warnings followed a public health advisory issued July 19 for higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in ocean waters at D River Beach, located in the midst of Lincoln City. In the latest round of sampling, while the water along the beach tested within acceptable limits, the freshwater reaching the beach via the D River carried dangerous levels of bacteria. (The beach testing program only issues advisories for the beach, not for freshwater sources.)
Advisories are issued when water samples indicate higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria, which can result in diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections, and other illnesses. Direct contact with the water should be avoided in these areas until the advisory is lifted, especially by children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to waterborne bacteria. Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources such as stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems, and animal waste from livestock, pets, and wildlife.
The status of water contact advisories at beaches is subject to change. For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program (OBMP) website at or call (971) 673-0400, or (877) 290-6767 (toll-free).
This episode underscores the importance of testing ocean waters on our beaches. Since 2003, state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor selected Oregon beaches (generally, those most frequently visited) and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state organizations participating in this program are the Oregon Health Authority, Department of Environmental Quality and Parks and Recreation Department.
OBMP samples16 beaches on a rotating basis using the current “beach action value” (BAV) of 158 colony forming units of bacteria per 100 milliliters (cfu/100 mL); BAV is the action level at which advisories are issued and lifted. Details about monitored beaches, sampling locations and schedule can be found on OBMP’s webpage.
These recent episodes also underscore the reality that far too few beaches are tested. This is, of course, a funding issue. They also demonstrate that we are failing to control land-based pollution, and thus fouling the ocean waters that touch the beaches that we enjoy and depend on for everything from solitude and nature study to tourism.
You can subscribe to the OBMP listserv for the north, central or south coast areas, or all three, and receive weekly water quality alerts. To put yourself into the pipeline for information, contact Tara Chetock, program coordinator,

 Tsunami Tree Washes Up at Nye Beach
A strong reminder that tsunami debris, possibly freighted with non-native organisms, is still floating to our shores, arrived on Thursday (or Wednesday night) of the past week. A beachwalker reported that a tree covered with mussels and other life had washed up at Nye Beach in Newport. Scientists from the nearby Hatfield Marine Science Center quickly investigated, and found that it did indeed ... MORE 
 Keep Watch over Snowy Plovers as Nesting Season Begins
Restrictions designed to protect the threatened Western snowy plover went into effect March 15, and will last through Sept. 15. All beachgoers are urged to help in ongoing efforts to restore the Oregon population of this beach-nesting bird by respecting restrictions and being careful not to disturb the birds and their nests. CoastWatchers who miles include plover habitat can play a valuable role ... MORE 
 Once More unto the Debris-Strewn Beach in Yachats
Marine debris on Netarts spit. Photo by Allison Asbjornsen.
Fawn Custer, CoastWatch’s volunteer coordinator, spoke to the Yachats Academy of Arts and Science last year on the subject of marine debris, and the talk must have gone over well, because she is back by popular demand. The grandly named “Academy,” a citizen-run group that brings lectures and other cultural offerings to Yachats, will feature Custer in a talk on Friday, Sept. 16, at 6:30 p.m.
The event, free to the public (a $5 donation is suggested), takes place at the Yachats Commons, at 4th and Hwy 101 in central Yachats.
Fawn will discuss the marine debris monitoring survey, using a protocol from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which CoastWatch organizes in Oregon, and the results we’ve been seeing from this citizen science project. She will also provide information on the tsunami debris that has been steadily washing up on our shores, including how to identify debris as being produced by the Japanese tsunami, how to identify likely non-native species carried by this debris, and what to do about it. She will add some notes about CoastWatch’s other citizen science projects, and answer questions about CoastWatch or anything shoreline-related.
For more information about the talk, CoastWatch, or citizen science, contact Fawn and (541) 270-0027,

 Join Teachers for Talk on Stewardship and Citizen Science
Educators of all types (including informal educators like CoastWatchers) will gather in Newport Oct. 14 for the annual Coastal Learning Symposium. Students are welcome, too. And CoastWatch Volunteer Coordinator Fawn Custer will there, speaking on “Getting Your Students on the Beach with Stewardship Goals.” (Her speaking time is not yet set.) This year’s event takes place at the Oregon Coast ... MORE 
 Naturalist Will Lead Walk Exploring the Dunes
Siltcoos River mouth. Photo by Margaret McDiarmid.
The public is invited to join volunteer naturalist Dale Dombrowski in searching the Siltcoos Beach area for birds this Sunday, Aug. 28. The event is sponsored by the Siuslaw National Forest and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The walk is limited to 12 people. Participants must be age 12 or older. RSVP to to reserve a spot.
Participants will meet in the Siltcoos Beach parking area (about 10 miles south of Florence)at 8:30 a.m. The walk will cross over the dune to the beach and will last 90 minutes or longer. Dogs are not allowed and participants should bring binoculars, water, sunscreen, and clothing appropriate for the weather.
Dale Dombrowski is a naturalist from New Mexico. He has taught numerous Audubon education programs and is a former National Park Service Interpretive and Natural Resources Ranger who worked on raptor monitoring and bird migration.
Birds that have been observed in the Siltcoos Beach area include bald eagles, osprey, great blue herons, whimbrel, semipalmated plover, American golden plover, snowy plover, Baird’s sandpiper, brown pelicans, and more.
For more information, contact Lisa Romano of the Siuslaw National Forest at (541) 750-7075,

 Rocky Shore Review Proceeding Slowly
Having suggested to the Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) that a review of the state’s policies for managing rocky shores is long overdue, Oregon Shores is carefully watching the process that result. OPAC formed a Rocky Shores Working Group to review current policies and proposed changes. The working group chaired by Robin Hartmann, Oregon Shores’ ocean policy advocate, met most recently July ... MORE 
 King Tide Project Dates for Coming Winter Announced
Track stars have their P.R.’s—personal records. Call this an O.R. We are hereby setting our organizational record for the furthest advance notice we have ever given anyone about anything. Flip your calendar many months ahead, because we already have the dates for the coming winter’s King Tide Project. The extreme tidal series we’ll be photographing, to preview future sea level rise, will be ... MORE 
 Seabird Watchers Invited to Contribute to Citizen Science
Birdwatching and citizen science come together in a new project initiated by the Audubon Society of Portland, Friends of Cape Falcon Marine Reserve and the Haystack Rock Awareness Program, among other partners. Volunteers are sought to help monitor seabird nesting colonies adjacent to the recently designated Cape Falcon Marine Reserve in order to better understand how seabirds may respond to the ... MORE 
 Oystercatcher Survey Now Underway
CoastWatch sponsors a great deal of citizen science activity, but some of our partners in the Oregon Marine Debris Team also offer opportunities to assist in scientific observation. One of these is Portland Audubon, which sponsors a Black Oystercatcher survey and is looking for new volunteers. Participants in this project will assist researchers in studying how Black Oystercatchers use rocky ... MORE 
 Photographers Invited to Help Oregon Shores 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 
  MILE 31  Lorenzo3 — Dead sea lion observed (no photo, due to camera battery being dead). Curlew also observed.  MORE 
  MILE 243  sciencedave — Dead sea lion (marked with a red X) between NW 34th and NW 26th St in front of Surftides.  MORE 
  MILE 245  TerryH DISPATCH  — Large dead sea lion, nearest cross street 70th, OSP is aware that it needs to be buried. Submitted stranding report, with photos, to Jim Rice of the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network.  MORE 
  MILE 221  KathyLJ DISPATCH  — Noticed this apparatus hanging from cliff below Pacific Surf RV Park.  MORE 
  MILE 221  KathyLJ — Beach was relatively clean of seaweed/algae, molt, etc. There is a drain hose tangled in some downed trees below a housing development near Schooner Point. It looks like it's been there for awhile.  MORE 
  MILE 255  bballentine — Very pretty day with more than usual number of visitors to beach, probably due to very high temperatures inland. Beach was very clean, much less trash picked up than in previous visits. Have noticed ...  MORE 
  MILE 295  Nedonnaman — Pretty typical summer beach. Most notable feature is fact that there is substantially more driftwood on beach than in recent past ... result of last winter's storms.  MORE 
  MILE 46  Redfish Rocks Community Team — Just another great day on the beach with good people. We were the only people on the beach. The sand scouring that has occurred in the area next to the access trail all the way down to Rocky Point is ...  MORE 
  MILE 206  Volunteer Coordinator DISPATCH  — Public Health Advisory for Seal Rock State Park Beach in Lincoln County being issued today, August 10, 2016. Sampling confirmed bacteria levels are higher than normal, and that water contact should ...  MORE 
  MILE 237  JDip237 — A gorgeous day! However, south of this mile's southern boundary, children were observed carving into the bluff, with accompanying adults doing nothing to stop it. It has really gotten bad, ...  MORE 
  MILE 224  malachite — It drizzled (not rained) for about half of my walk. Saw remnants of a marine mammal, not much left. A few live seagulls seen. Walk lasted from 1 p.m. to about 2:05 p.m. Tide in South Beach: High: ...  MORE 
  MILE 338  Randy and Beth — Our beach mile was swept clean of driftwood and debris. Perhaps a layer of sand was covering trash, but not much visible. A major crack in the dunes/bluff was visible last quarterly walk also.  MORE 
  MILE 198  bahngarten — Light drizzle, cloudy morning. 5 people, 3 dogs walking the beach. Large amounts of tiny mole crab parts all along driftline, small pebbles and shell parts present. Large numbers of immature ...  MORE 
  MILE 225  driscolke — This was a heavily used area this day, along with the Otter Rock Marine Reserve Community Science event. Significant sea star rejuvenation at cave, >200 both Pisaster/Leptosterias. Skeleton remains ...  MORE 
  MILE 226  Batthecat DISPATCH  — A lovely day for Citizen Science at Otter Crest. Volunteer coordinator Fawn Custer, and volunteers Mike Custer and Karen Driscoll (bird count) were present to greet the scores who were on the beach ...  MORE 
  MILE 23  Bob Harvey — Şummer sands have been stacked against (but not to the top of) last winters badly eroded dunes. The beach itself has interesting sand features such as crescent dunes. In the north part of the ...  MORE 
  MILE 101  Mike Mueller — My mile looked to be the average condition it always is with more visitors caused by the summer vacations.  MORE 
  MILE 195  WetWabbit — It was a pleasant, sunny, although windy, day. There were lots of beach visitors, and it was fun to see many dogs having a good time. My Westly posed for a birthday photo. There were the usual gulls ...  MORE 
  MILE 197  mudslide — A fine afternoon, though rather windy, on a very clean beach. The highest number of beachgoers I've seen to date, quite a few families with kids. They were clustered mainly in the first (northern) ...  MORE 
  MILE 257  BP Van B DISPATCH  — Very pleasant morning, light fog and overcast, light wind. Beach was relatively clean but gathered about 25 pounds of trash over the miles: 6 singleton sandals, several plastic water bottles, chunks ...  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.