Citizen Science Articles

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
Comparison of beachgrass species.

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

jones_jesse_meeing_sea_steve_garrett.jpg 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 CoastWatch miles. These events provide an opportunity to get questions answered about...Read more

50th Anniversary Celebration Is Today!

neptune_beach_rena_martin.jpg 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...Read more

Snowy Plover Nesting Season Underway

snowy_plover_exclosure_courtesy_usfws_re-sized.jpg 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,...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

King Tides Photo Contest Winners Announced

king_tides_1st_place_john_bragg.png The past winter’s edition of the King Tides Project, the 11 th year of this annual citizen science effort, had a new feature. This time around, we partnered with the Oregon Coast Visitors Association to sponsor a photo contest. The goal of the King Tides project is to document the winter’s highest tides, to...Read more

BioBlitzes in a New Format Coming up in July

bioblitz_roads_end_fawn_custer_demonstrating_doug_cody.jpeg A BioBlitz is an intensive survey of a defined area with the goal of identifying all the species to be found in that area at one time, generally involving members of the public assisted by experts. It is a snapshot of biodiversity. In past years, coastal...Read more