The data collected during the Sea Star Surveys at Yachats State Park is used to help researchers understand the cause of Sea Star Wasting Syndrome (SSWS) and how it changes over time and location. For several years, the CoastWatch program of the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition has been counting sea stars and looking for signs of illness at this location, adjacent to Cape Perpetua Marine Protected Area. Starting in 2018, the Cape Perpetua Collaborative stepped in to coordinate the surveys at Yachats State Park.
During summer negative tides, a small group of volunteers heads out to conduct SSWS Surveys at the site at Yachats State Park. During the survey, every sea star on the survey site gets counted, measured and documented any signs wasting disease. We mostly observe Ochre and a few Lepasterias sea stars. The average size of Ochre stars we observed were 50mm-80mm in 2020. During our last survey in 2020 we also documented several 5mm sea stars, which were adorable! The biggest star we have observed measured 220mm!
For more information on the Sea Star Wasting Disease you can visit www.seastarwasting.org.
Yachats sea star data regarding size: https://tinyurl.com/Yachats-seastar-size
Yachats sea star data regarding numbers: https://tinyurl.com/yachats-seastar-numbers