Fallen Stars: Sea Star Wasting Syndrome is the topic Thursday February 5, 6:30pm at CLPUD public meeting room across from Safeway, in Newport.
The public is invited to the MidCoast Watersheds Council meeting on Thursday February 5th at 6:30 pm in Newport to learn about ODFW’s efforts to monitor and understand sea star wasting syndrome along the Pacific Coast. The meeting will be held in the public meeting room of the Central Lincoln PUD building located at 2129 N Coast Hwy in Newport, across from the Safeway complex. Refreshments will be served.
Dr. Steve Rumrill, Shellfish Program Leader for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in Newport will talk about the mysterious mass die off of sea stars along the west coast of North America during 2013-2014. Large-scale mortality of the sea stars has been attributed to an outbreak of Sea Star Wasting Syndrome (SSWS). SSWS is a poorly-known disease that appears periodically among populations of asteroid echinoderms; this past year’s event was unparalleled. Dr. Rumrill will present a summary of the current SSWS event along the west coast, and provide a description of the actions taken to monitor progression of the outbreak, identify the causes for the disease, and to determine the ecological consequences of the mass-mortality of sea stars in the rocky intertidal and sub-tidal zones
Dr. Rumrill, a marine biologist, estuarine ecologist, and invertebrate zoologist who has worked along the coasts of Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and California for the past 35 years, is an expert in echinoderms, the species that includes sea stars and sea urchins. He earned his PhD in zoology (1987) from the University of Alberta where he investigated the population biology and larval ecology of Pacific northwest echinoderms. He conducted post-doctoral research at the Smithsonian Marine Lab on sea stars and at Harvard University on sea urchins before moving to the Oregon coast in 1990.
Since 2012, Steve has been employed as the Shellfish Program Leader for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife where he has statewide responsibilities for the conservation of shellfish populations and management of the commercial and recreational shellfisheries. Prior to joining the ODFW Marine Resources Program, Steve served as the chief scientist and research program coordinator for the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Charleston, OR. He worked there for over 20 years as the resident scientist overseeing and conducting research and monitoring activities in the estuary, riparian areas, and coastal watersheds.
Come learn more about Dr. Rumrill’s work and ask questions of this expert at the MidCoast Watersheds Council’s February 5th meeting, 6:30pm, CLPUD HQ building, across from Safeway in Newport.