Japanese Researchers Visit Oregon for Marine Debris Project

JANUARY 14, 2015

This week, two researchers from Japan joined us to check out some potential sites for a marine debris monitoring project on the Oregon coast! The NOAA Marine Debris Program through a collaboration with PICES (North Pacific Marine Science Organization), reached out to us at Surfrider here in Oregon back in October to help support this really cool webcam project – developed by a Japanese researcher to help better monitor marine debris on our coast.

Researcher Dr. Isobe Atsuhiko and his technician test one sites soil composition for project suitability

Researcher Dr. Isobe Atsuhiko and his technician test one sites soil composition for project suitability

Researcher Dr. Isobe Atsuhiko and his technician test one sites soil composition for project suitability

Naturally, the project was really appealing to us given all of the data that we collect on marine debris is generally on the hard backs of volunteers following a beach cleanup. The idea of collecting marine data from a webcam that can snap pictures multiple times a day, for up to 2 years and distinguish debris based on highly-sophisticated cameras and software was really exciting. Japanese researcher Isobe Atsuhiko’s project is to better understand the viability of using a webcam to detect shoreline debris, based on the color of manmade versus natural debris.

Dr. Isobe holds a Japanese property marker, found on the beach near one of the potential study sites

Dr. Isobe holds a Japanese property marker, found on the beach near one of the potential study sites

Isobe and his team are from Kyushu University and made the long trek to the United States and were hosted in Newport during their stay over the past few days. He and his research team looked at 4 different sites which Surfrider’s Charlie Plybon and Salmon Drift Creek Watershed Council’s Catherine Pruett helped identify as potential project site locations. The sites range from private property in the Neskowin area down to USFS managed properties in Coos County. NOAA Marine Debris Program Staff, Nir Barnea, joined us from Seattle to help with additional project coordination needs.

We are extremely honored to play a leadership role in this project and in the coming weeks, we’ll find out which site the Japanese research team is most interested in on our coast. If all works out, they’ll be returning in February to install the camera project.

The Japanese government awarded funding to PICES for Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris-related research projects, and a workplan has been developed by a project team with Japanese, Canadian, and US representation. One of the projects proposed and funded was Dr. Isobe’s webcam study. To see photos of the camera frames and configurations and learn more about the project, check out the linked powerpoint below.

WebCam Marine Debris Study

Click to access Spec_webcam.pdf

Charlie Plybon, Surfrider Foundation

Beach Clean-Ups in Newport! Way to go Surfrider!

Despite the vile weather, Surfrider held two successful beach clean ups. Thank you. Sage and Vince for organizing these teams. With 16 volunteers they gathered 350# of marine debris. Volunteers included members of Surfrider, CoastWatch and the community. These are links to their reports.
http://newport.surfrider.org/agate-beach-cleanup/ and http://newport.surfrider.org/nye-beach-cleanup/

Marine Debris by Land and by Sea

The storms just before Christmas brought in another large amount of debris. Fortunately, we had some amazingly beautiful weather afterwards allowing for some major clean-ups. Between CoastWatch, Solve and Surfrider, rapid response clean-ups took place all along the Oregon Coast.

Great thanks go out to the Dubois family(mile 202), Nancy Edwards (mile 203), brand new CoastWatcher Nancy Moore(mile 203 and seriously new.. just joined CoastWatch in the morning) and Nancy Edwards’ friend Paul who didn’t hesitate to help. Within 15 minutes of Ryan Parker calling me for help, we were able to be down there and cleaning up, thereby avoiding the disaster that Lighthouse Beach in Charleston had when the dock hit their beach and clean up was not as easily accessible. We also picked up a laundry basket variety of plastic bits, water bottles and a coleman propane bottle.

SOLVE hosted over 8 cleanups the last week of December.

Surfrider chapters and CoastWatch volunteers again, responded quickly to the accumulation at Lighthouse Beach. Ian Rodger, Beach Clean up Coordinator for Coos County Surfrider organized a clean up for Lighthouse Beach which had gotten slammed with more styrofoam again. This foam is residual material from the derelict dock last winter. He mobilized a team, Saturday December 26th to tackle some of the debris. Volunteers were asked to bring rubbermaid tubs and colanders in order to sift the micro pellets from the sand and surrounding area.

Surfrider also scheduled two clean ups in Lincoln County. Taft Beach that had three river docks beach on it and Moolack Beach that had more than the usual amount of domestic and Tsunami marine debris. Taft, south of Lincoln City on December 29th and Moolack Beach on January 3rd.
Taft Dock Cleanup, Dec 29th, 2014
7 People, 4300 lbs removed or staged for removal in 4 hours
Pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/organize/?start_tab=new_set
Pictures are from the clean up on the North and South sides on the Salishan Spit. 7 Volunteers worked both the North and South sides of the Spit for 4 hours. About 300 lbs of debris were removed from the volunteers into a Park Rangers truck and trailer that day. The debris mostly comprised of wood and Styrofoam from river dock docks and some general debris. A 8ft x 20ft section of a river dock was found and determined to be too large to remove by manual means. So, a salvage crew with a backhoe and dump truck was called and removed the estimated 2000 lbs of dock section that morning during the clean up. On the South more remote side of the Spit, volunteers located and moved to above the tide lines and in piles as much as possible more river dock debris, tire with rim, a water heater, and general debris totaling an estimated 2000 lbs. Later in the week park rangers with ATV’s removed the debris for the South Spit.

Moolack Cleanup, Jan 3rd 2015
13 People, 250 lbs removed in 3 hours
Pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/organize/?start_tab=one_set72157647820618873
Mostly domestic plastic and rope were removed by 13 volunteers that walked various locations between Moolack to Otter Rock for 3 hours. A team of 3 OSU Tsunami Debris researchers lead by John Chapman walked from Otter Rock and Moolack looking for obvious Tsunami debris. They only found previously marked wood timbers from last year.

Vince Pappalardo
Newport Surfrider Chapter Volunteer Coordinator
Phone: 541-272-0004
Email: volunteercoordinator@newport.or.surfrider.org

CoastWatchers, John and Judy Bowman-Kreitmeyer(mile 240), Linda Reid and daughter Alice (mile 239) and some concerned beach walkers (15 total volunteers) joined Beach Rangers Ryan and Jared, and me, as we continued to haul more of the large pieces of the docks and bags of debris from Salishan Spit on December 31st. Along with the large pieces of styrofoam were small chunks, water bottles, various pieces of plastic, a small tire, and a plastic crate. Only organisms appeared to be pelagic barnacles and hydroids.

Additional numbers and data will be posted as it comes in.

In light of the increased storm and wave action, there is a lot of potential for even more tsunami debris to come on shore. Joy has been asked by our partners in Japan (JEAN) to send them a report on what we are finding over the winter. They’ll be writing a report and giving it to the Ministry of the Environment in Japan and want as much information as we can give them. Oregon will be contributing alongside other west coast states and Canada.

If available, Joy would love any information and photos you have related to Japanese/potential tsunami debris from cleanups this past week and in the future. Feel free to pass her contact information joy@solveoregon.org to anyone who might be able to contribute.

Also, if you have any cleanups planned and need more volunteers, please let us know. SOLVE, Surfrider, and CoastWatch can add that information to our online calendars to help recruit or send out a targeted email to volunteers in that area.

Fawn Custer
CoastWatch Volunteer Coordinator
POB 90, Seal Rock, OR 97376
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New Marine Debris Monitoring Teams and members December 1, 2014

The month of November was a flurry of activity as new teams were formed and new members added to the, already active, teams.
I traveled south to visit our Curry county teams at Gold Beach and Redfish Rocks. We’ve added two new interested participants to the Gold Beach 4-H team and are looking for more people to join Tyson on the Redfish Rocks Community Team. Mike Mueller- CoastWatch has been diligently monitoring Seven Devils Wayside. We have a new volunteer to help him. Welcome Amy. The Tahkenitch-Siuslaw Middle School team made it out just before the nasty storm hit to get their November survey completed and the Muriel Ponsler-Surfrider Team is gearing up for the year. They are always interested in having new participants help out. The Oregon Coast Team on the 68th Street Site and the Community Services Consortium Team at Otter Rock Marine Reserve have not missed a beat. Our new team at Cascade Head Marine Reserve, Westwind, was trained on November 30th and have a small amount of data to upload. The Cape Falcon Marine Reserve Team-Portland Surfrider were out for their survey and to train new participants. Their report: Os West: Shorties Surf Stewards Kickoff
Despite the all the thunder and lightening, torrential downpours and frigid wind, our first Oswald West Committee action weekend was a great success! Activities included running our NOAA Marine Debris Monitoring transect/beach cleanup, a stewardship planning tour of Oswald West State Park led by Oregon State Parks and Recreation, water quality testing at our Blue Water Task Force lab at Nehalem Bay State Park and a brief stormy surf session by a few ‘brave’ individuals.
Excellent job for Ryan and Al.
Our north Cannon Beach team is on a roll. Robin is always ready to have others join them on their easily accessible beach.
Contact me if you are interested in helping out.
More later.

Reminder of Important Contacts

Organisms on debris   

Please call Dr. Jessica Miller (503-939-9812) or Dr. John Chapman (541-961-3258) for questions about animals.

Please call Dr. Gayle Hansen (541-265-4061 (AM) or 541-867-5012 (PM) for questions about algae.

To report marine debris, beach.debris@state.or.us,

Possibly hazardous call 1-800-SAFENET or contact Fawn  fawn@oregonshores.org  5412700027Image


Unknown anemone found on tsunami boat rail – Yachats, OR, Feb 2014

Unknown anemone found on tsunami boat rail - Yachats, OR, Feb 2014

Anthopleura species?


Caprellid (very small) on Tsunami boat rail- Yachats

Caprellid (very small) on Tsunami boat rail- Yachats

Caprellid-very small shrimp-like animal
Photo by John Chapman

Japanese Marine Debris washing up again

Calls to SOLVE, SURFRIDER, and CoastWatch, have prompted beach clean-ups. Article posted on Surfrider site, with pictures.



Contact me if you see any with organisms.  Location,etc.  fawn@oregonshores.org

or John Chapman   john.chapman@oregonstate.edu

If there is algae please contact Gayle Hansen

Special Request from Dr. Gayle Hansen Regarding the Brown Fuzz

We are trying to wrap up our study of the algae on tsunami debris, but we still need fresh living material of some of the species for genetic (DNA) analyses – particularly the brown and red algae.

I wondered if CoastWatch could look for red and brown marine algae on Japanese debris – and alert me to any major occurrence.  Then — there are 2 possibilities:
1.       I could come by to collect the material myself – if it is local and convenient for the Coastwatcher,  Or

2.      The material could be scraped off the debris (with the holdfasts) into a small plastic bag (I don’t need much material) and kept in the plastic bag in the refrigerator or on ice.  My lab is in the EPA-Newport building and it can be delivered there – or I could try to come by to pick it up.  Please be sure to include a label with the site, date, description of the debris, and the collector’s name and contact information.

Currently we are very much interested in the brown fuzz (filaments) that coats the necks of Lepas (the pelagic barnacle).  The coating must be fairly thick.  It may be early to find it as the Lepas seems to still be quite young – but, please keep watch for it.  Any brown “slime” on the debris (that is actually filaments) is also of interest to us if it is fresh.

Thanks for any help you can provide.


Dr. Gayle I. Hansen
Oregon State University, HMSC-EPA
2111 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, Oregon 97365-5260 USA

Phone:  541-867-5012 (lab), 541-265-4061 (home)
Fax:  541-867-4049 (attention G. Hansen)
Lab E-mail:  Hansen.Gayle@epa.gov
Home Office E-mail:  gaylehansen@q.com


More debris washing up during recent storm surges

More debris washing up during recent storm surges

This boat washed up on Long Beach, Washington.  With the recent storm surges and high winds we should expect to find marine debris on our beaches as well.  If you find debris with organisms on it please send pictures to fawn@oregonshores.org with location.  We’d like to collect any Japanese animals and algae.