Surveying for beached birds provides clues not only to the state of bird populations, but to the health of the ocean environment. Volunteers are needed to help with collecting such information for the Oregon coast.
The Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) is holding a training session for potential volunteers on Sunday, May 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, 2030 SE Marine Science Dr. in Newport (South Beach). The training is co-sponsored by the CoastWatch program of the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, COASST’s Oregon partner.
COASST (based at the University of Washington) is a citizen science project dedicated to involving volunteers in the collection of high quality data on the status of coastal beaches, and trends of seabirds. The goal is to assist government agencies and other organizations in making informed management and conservation decisions, and promote proactive citizen involvement and action. COASST volunteers systematically count and identify bird carcasses that wash ashore along ocean beaches from northern California to Alaska. Volunteers don’t need expertise with birds, just a commitment to survey a specific beach site each month.
Those who might be interested in participating are invited to join COASST staff for a full, six-hour training session, led by volunteer coordinator Liz Mack. Hear about how COASST started, learn how to use the custom Beached Birds field guide, and try out your new skills with some actual specimens. There is no charge to attend the training, but plan to provide a $20 refundable deposit if you would like to take home a COASST volunteer kit complete with a COASST Beached Birds field guide. Training activities take place indoors, and include a break for lunch—please pack your own or plan to buy lunch nearby.
RSVPs are helpful to COASST in planning. If possible, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, (206) 221-6893, if you plan to attend. For more information, go to the coasst.org website.