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We are excited to announce the launch of a new year-round ecology program at Sitka in partnership with Oregon Shores' CoastWatch program.
About the program: Sitka is adopting mile 247 of the Oregon coast, a mile of beach accessed by boat from the Cascade Head Ranch boat launch. Through Sitka and CoastWatch, Sitka team members, artists and ecologists in residence and Cascade Head Ranch neighbors will be able to contribute directly to coastal observation and citizen science projects year-round. CoastWatch is a mile by mile observation program along the entire Oregon coast, connecting volunteers to scientists and researchers who are seeking data to inform us all about the changing ecology of the Oregon coast.
About the launch: In August, Sitka team members and local neighbors visited the beach at low tide with naturalist and CoastWatch Program Director Jesse Jones (pictured above with participating Sitka neighbors) for an initial training. Jesse oriented us to the program and what volunteers should look for while walking Sitka’s adopted mile. We learned how to identify the flora and fauna of the tidepools, explored the wrackline and sandy beach and were introduced to many community and citizen science projects available for neighbors and Sitka guests to contribute to when on the coast. Participants counted sea stars and learned how to tell if sea star wasting disease was present. We also looked for seabirds and shorebirds, set up a marine debris survey site and learned how to identify different beach grasses.
Watch for more opportunities to get involved: Starting this fall, Sitka residents will be invited to help participate in monitoring Sitka’s adopted mile of shoreline and other citizen science projects during their Sitka stays. Watch for more neighborhood and public workshop opportunities in the months ahead and as part of next year’s workshop season.