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Volunteers Resume Photo Monitoring of Study Sites in Prince William Sound

JULY 12, 2021 ─ Thirty-two years after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Alan Mearns (retired, scientist emeritus) reports that volunteers are resuming visits this summer to NOAA long term rocky intertidal monitoring sites in western Prince William Sound.

Large rock on a beach covered in barnacles and vegetation.
"Mearns Rock" taken Friday morning, July 9, 2021 in Snug Harbor. Image credit: David Janka, Auklet Charter Services, Cordova, Alaska.

Photos have been taken at a "set aside" site (previously oiled in 1989) in Herring Bay, and at a previously oiled and pressure washed site in Northwest Bay (attached). Both sites show lower-than-expected cover of rockweed and few mussels. However, volunteer David Janka (Auklet Charters, Cordova) reports that several species of sea stars have returned to the Northwest Bay site, years after the 2014 Sea Star Wasting disease wiped out sea stars all along the U.S. and Canadian West Coast.  See more on the Mearns Rock page on our website.

For further information, contact Alan.Mearns@noaa.gov.

Last updated Friday, July 16, 2021 4:33pm PDT