Marine debris surveying training in Friday Harbor

  • Tue Oct 16th, 2018 9:58am
  • Life

Submitted by COASST

From 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Oct. 13, the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, or COASST, will deliver a free training session in Friday Harbor for citizens interested in surveying for marine debris. The COASST Marine Debris program is focused on the intersection of science, conservation and communities. Rather than simply identifying debris, the program characterizes it and measures its abundance in particular zones of the beach.

Through an interactive, hands-on workshop, trainees will learn how to collect data that speaks directly to both the source and transport pathways of debris, as well as to the potential harm to people, wildlife and local coastal ecosystems. The COASST training provides participants with the tools to both monitor for potential changes in the marine environment and promote stewardship of local marine resources.

COASST is a citizen science project of the University of Washington in partnership with state, tribal and federal agencies, environmental organizations and community groups. COASST believes citizens of coastal communities are essential scientific partners in monitoring marine ecosystem health. By collaborating with citizens, natural resource management agencies and environmental organizations, COASST works to translate long-term monitoring into effective marine conservation solutions. Currently, nearly 1,000 volunteers survey beaches in Washington, Oregon, California and Alaska.

The training session will be held at Friday Harbor Laboratories Commons at 620 University Road in Friday Harbor. There will be a short break in the middle of the session for lunch, so bring your own sack lunch or money to purchase food in the area. Volunteers need no prior experience with scientific data collection, just a commitment to survey a specific beach at least once a month.

Reserve your training spot by calling COASST at 206-221-6893 or by emailing For info, visit