Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Scientists Need Help Observing Oregon Coast Sea Stars - How to Assist

Published 05/05/22 at 12:35 AM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Scientists Need Help Observing Oregon Coast Sea Stars - How to Assist

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; major specials now that winter is here
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
major specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Winter's enticing specials now
In Lincoln City:
Major winter specials now
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
major specials this season
In Newport:
Look for many specials
In Waldport
New amenities offered; specials and tempting prices now
In Yachats, Florence
Big deals available; lodgings not listed anywhere else
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; winter deals

(Oregon Coast) – Oregon coast scientists and other experts need some help to figure out the actual numbers and the state of sea stars along the shoreline, after a mysterious disease called sea star wasting syndrome wiped out large chunks of the population in the Pacific Northwest several years ago. Researchers still don't understand much about this particular tidepool plague, and they're still trying to get a good picture of the rebound of some species in its aftermath. (Photo copyright Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Ochre stars, it turns out, are the one of the most vulnerable and yet well-known of the coastline's intertidal species. Experts are trying to get more eyes on the tidepools and document what's happening. With that in mind, CoastWatch is hosting an online seminar on how to submit a sea star observation for MARINe, the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network, a partner of CoastWatch.

It's held via Zoom on Wednesday, May 25 at 6 p.m.

Recently, the State of Oregon passed a law prohibiting the collection of this species, citing in part how climate change is making them more vulnerable to illness and helping to make them less resilient and hardy in the face of habitat shifts.

The talk is aimed at CoastWatch members, who patrol Oregon coast beaches and report on various issues, hoping to snag more members to submit sea star reports. But it is also open to the general with the aim of simply getting many eyes on beach environments.

Melissa Miner, a researcher in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz who is based in Bellingham, Washington, will give a tutorial of how to submit a sea star observation for CoastWatch volunteers and interested others. Miner will also provide an overview of the resources found on the MARINe website, which include sea star guides to correctly ID'ing them and various updates on the disease and population numbers in general.


The presentation is free and will last about an hour. You can register for the webinar at this link.

Ochre sea stars (Pisaster ochraceus) are not simply one color: they can show up as yellow, orange, brown, reddish or even purple, according to Oregon Coast Aquarium. They are typified by small white spines across their backs. Most Ochre sea stars have five rather large, thick arms, although you may find them with as many as seven and as few as four.

Their diet largely consists of barnacles, snails, limpets and mostly mussels, obtained by a rather mind-bending means. The sea star pushes its stomach out of its body and inserts it into the shell of their prey. They're also known for a good degree of tolerance for being out in the air, with the Ochre sea star able to survive up to 50 hours under the right conditions.

Why do they come in different colors? It's not entirely understood, but scientists believe it can have to do with what they're eating and possibly other factors. These little stars of the Oregon coast have plenty to still be revealed. MORE PHOTOS BELOW

Oregon Coast Hotels in this area - South Coast Hotels - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours


MORE PHOTOS BELOW










More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....


Coastal Spotlight


LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

New Surge in Orca Sightings Over Weekend Good Sign for Oregon Coast Holiday
Chances may be good you'll get to spot some over holiday weekend. Whales, marine sciences
Surprisingly, One Man Connects Oregon Coast Lighthouses at Heceta Head, Terri...
One man, Oswald Allik, served on both the Seaside and Florence-area lights until the end. Cannon Beach, Florence history
Some of the Most Riveting Oregon Coast Views Are Hardest to Find
Outstanding viewpoints along the beaches that you may not know: Depoe Bay, Port Orford, Oceanside, Cannon Beach
2022 Memorial Weekend Travel Advice, Warnings for Oregon Coast
Dealing with traffic, hotels, speed traps, weather
South Oregon Coast's Bandon Holds Special Puffin Viewing Day
Puffin Party celebration at Bandon's Face Rock Wayside on May 28. Bandon events
Central Oregon Coast Artist Exhibits Surreal, Colorful Works at Florence Visi...
Mixed media called encaustics created by Jo Beaudreau. Florence events
Oregon Coast Wildlife Officials: Don't Kidnap Wildlife
It's not just baby seals you'll have to watch out for. Sciences
Oregon Coast Aquarium Celebrates 30 Years This Week
Since 1992, the Aquarium in Newport has been showing off countless oceanic wonders to over two generations. Newport events

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted