Oregon Marine Debris Tracking Program


News Release from Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.
Posted on FlashAlert: November 26th, 2013 10:51 AM

Volunteers measure out a grid along the beach for debris monitoring.
Downloadable file: Volunteers measure out a grid along the beach for debris monitoring.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. and the Oregon Marine Debris Team
November 26, 2013

Seal Rock OR – The Oregon Marine Debris Team and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department are inviting conservation-minded volunteer groups to participate in a new project to collect data through a collaborative coastal monitoring program. The initiative represents a unique opportunity to contribute on-the-ground information to a cross-country research study currently being conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to better understand the quantity and type of marine debris that washes up on U.S. shores.

The Oregon Marine Debris Team is offering $500 “community grants” to facilitate the participation of local groups in the program. The grants can be used to cover the costs of transportation to and from the monitoring site as well as equipment such as bags, measuring tape, and marker flags. Funding is available for up to ten teams. Interested groups should notify the Oregon Marine Debris Team of their intent to participate and submit an application for funding via http://tinyurl.com/debrisgrants by January 7.

Groups will be asked to gather data just once a month over a period of 24 months at a site 100 meters (about 325 feet) in length on the Oregon coast. There are currently seven areas where community volunteers are still needed:

* Columbia South Jetty to Camp Rilea
* Arch Cape to Nehalem Spit
* Mouth of Nestucca Bay to Salmon River Spit
* Government Point to Yaquina Head
* Siuslaw South Jetty to Horsfall Beach
* Bastendorff Beach to Seven Devils Wayside
* Hooskenaden Creek to Rainbow Rock

Groups are especially encouraged to select sites in more remote, less-trafficked areas where marine debris is unlikely to be disturbed and thus provide a more accurate picture of local conditions.

Groups can be preexisting organizations or new teams of volunteers formed for this project. No prior experience is necessary, as participants will be able to use the NOAA-developed system for recording data and uploading it online. A comprehensive training workshop and ongoing support will be provided by the Oregon Marine Debris Team and Oregon Sea Grant.

The Oregon Marine Debris Team (OMDT) is a coalition of five nonprofits: the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, SOLVE, Oregon Sea Grant, Washed Ashore, and the Oregon Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. OMDT was organized in 2011 following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan to survey and remove debris that crossed the Pacific. More information is available at http://omdt.org/.

To learn more about the marine debris volunteer tracking program, visit http://www.oregonshores.org/coastwatch.php5 or contact Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition volunteer coordinator Fawn Custer at 541-270-0027.