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On September 7 in Lincoln City (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and September 8 in Florence (10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) will deliver two free training sessions for beach-walking members of the community.

COASST participants help make a difference for the environment by collecting data on beach-cast carcasses of marine birds on a monthly basis to establish the baseline pattern of beached bird mortality on North Pacific beaches.

Through an interactive, hands-on workshop, trainees will become acquainted the custom COASST field guide, Beached Birds and have a chance to try out their newly acquired identification skills on seabird species common to the North Pacific. The COASST training provides participants with the tools to 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 800 volunteers survey beaches in Washington, Oregon, California and Alaska.

The training session in Lincoln City will be held at the Driftwood Public Library, and the training session in Florence will be at the Florence Senior Center. There will be a short break in the middle of the session for lunch, and COASST encourages everyone to bring your own sack lunch or money to purchase food in the area. Volunteers do not need any 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 coasst@uw.edu. For more information on COASST visit coasst.org.

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