Citizen Science Articles

CoastWatcher at Nedonna Beach.

Orientations Provide Introduction to CoastWatch

If you are thinking about adopting a mile of the Oregon coast through CoastWatch, or if you are a new CoastWatch volunteer or a veteran mile adopter needing a refresher course, consider joining a CoastWatch orientation. These field experiences are designed to introduce the program and sharpen observational skills. Orientation sessions will be held a number of times times this summer and fall, in...Read more
CoastWatch training on rocky shore habitats.\Photo by Daniel Anderson.

CoastWatch Webinars Available on YouTube

CoastWatch training on rocky shore habitats.\Photo by Daniel Anderson. With the onset of pandemic restrictions, CoastWatch pivoted toward working online to maintain volunteer training and public education and to keep the mile adopter community connected. This required some re-orientation for a program that has always relied on community events and beachwalks,...Read more
Volunteers conducting sea star observations.

Citizen Scientists Help Track Sea Star Populations

Volunteers conducting sea star observations.\Photo by Fawn Custer. Sea stars are keystone species in intertidal ecosystems. Through their predation, they structure rocky shoreline habitats. Monitoring the status of sea star populations is therefore important in understanding the health of intertidal communities—and all the more essential in the wake of the “sea...Read more

CoastWatchers Aid in Beachgrass Search

Comparison of beachgrass species including new hybrid. The search continues for the new hybrid beachgrass that may be spreading on the Oregon coast. CoastWatch volunteers are helping researchers at Oregon State University map the range of the new hybrid, the offspring of two invasive beachgrass species. To sharpen the observational skills of volunteers, two in-...Read more

CoastWatch Joins Hunt for Hybrid Beachgrass

Rebecca Mostow in the field. Much of the terrain of the Oregon's sandy shoreline we see today has been shaped by two dominant, invasive beachgrass species. They build the tall, stable dunes that parallel sandy beaches, providing some protection for infrastructure but causing the decline of native animal and plant species. A team from Oregon State University...Read more

King Tides Project Rose Again

King tide assaults the Hwy 101 seawall at Waldport.\Photo by Roy Lowe. The King Tides Project has now completed its 12th year. This citizen science effort, organized by CoastWatch and the Oregon Coastal Management Program, engaged exactly 100 volunteer photographers during the 2021-2022 season, who contributed 247 photos. That is the largest number of...Read more

Join Volunteer Coordinator for a Beachwalk

Jesse Jones (center) meets with members of Shoreline Education for Awareness, which has adopted Mile 101, on an earlier visit.\Photo by Steve Garrett. CoastWatch Volunteer Coordinator Jesse Jones is about to tour the coast, with the goal meeting with CoastWatchers (and those interested in CoastWatch) at various locations. She will lead beachwalks on numerous...Read more

50th Anniversary Celebration Is Today!

Neptune Beach.\Photo by Rena Olson. While we’ve been celebrating our 50 th anniversary all year, the actual anniversary date—the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition was officially founded on July 29, 1971—is now approaching fast. Over the course of the day on Thursday, July 29, 2021, we will offer place-based and online events and lectures, honor outstanding...Read more

Snowy Plover Nesting Season Underway

Snowy plover exclusion area.\Photo courtesy of USFWS. Oregon’s conservationists and resource agencies have been engaged in a decades-long effort to restore the state’s population of the Western Snowy Plover, an endangered shorebird that nests on Oregon beaches (the only shorebird that breeds here). We are now in the nesting season, the crucial period for...Read more

Environmental Steward Certificate Program Always Open

Ed Joyce (right) and Jesse Jones (center) at a training session for the marine debris survey, a project which would help participants qualify for the Environmental Steward Certificate.\Photo by Patricia Jensen. Oregon Shores and CoastWatch partners with Clatsop Community College (CCC) in sponsoring the Environmental Steward Certificate program, an innovative...Read more