The Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) organizes coastal residents to monitor beach-cast seabird carcasses at over 350 sites in California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. Resulting data advances the science of coastal ecology and contributes to natural resources management. The achievements of COASST, which currently has about 850 volunteers, include documenting the world's single largest die-off of seabirds from a harmful algal bloom as well as contributing to many analyses of the potential impacts of resource development on coastal ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest.
COASST sees a future in which all coastal communities contribute directly to monitoring local marine resources and ecosystem health through the establishment of a network of citizen scientists, each collecting rigorous and vital data. Through this collective effort, and the translation of individual data into baselines against which any impact—from human or natural origins—can be assessed, nearshore ecosystems worldwide will be actively known, managed and protected.
COASST is a citizen science project of the University of Washington in partnership with state, tribal and federal agencies, environmental organizations, and community groups.