Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society has been monitoring for Sea Star Wasting Syndrome (SSWS) since 2015 along the coastline between Tofino and Ucluelet, B.C.
Their methodology is based off of those from the Pacific Rocky Intertidal Monitoring Lab of UCSC. Data is collected for the number, species, size, and degree of wasting syndrome of sea stars.
At the end of each field season their data is shared with the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe) to contribute to a larger North America-wide database to be used as open source data for SSWS research. The information collected from this data can be used to track seasonal and long-term trends in sea star species abundance, diversity, and level of wasting disease both within small-scale and large-scale regions.
The Sea Star Stewardship Program is highly reliant on the wonderful volunteer citizen scientists that join SIMRS each month in the field to collect data. They are always accepting new volunteers and offer on-site training. Join them for an early morning of field work at one of the Tofino or Ucluelet based sites!