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Aug 2022 Monthly Meeting

August 8, 2022 @ 10:00 am 12:00 pm

Featured Speaker Russ Holmes, SWS Class of 2011 at 10:30 am on underwater research based at Cama Beach

SWS Members can watch the meeting recording

Sea Star Identification: Community scientist Michael Kyte invites your email inquiries about identification of sea stars when they are very young and small (like under 2 inches across). Send him a photo and he’ll tell you what he thinks.

Report what you see: Russ and Michael strongly encourage YOU to report any sea stars (healthy or diseased) you see to MARINe using their easy-to-use observation forms, click on “submit observations” then on “click here.” Some phones record lat/long for each picture, or you can drop a pin on the location when you are out on the beach; otherwise you can get an estimate for latitude and longitude using google maps or google earth.

Russ Holmes and Michael Kyte

10:30 Speaker Presentation & Demonstration: Russ Holmes, Class of 2011

Russ Holmes Slides as PDF

Russ Holmes, SWS Class of 2011, will talk about subtidal sea star monitoring using scuba and the Deep Trekker ROV (remote operated vehicle) to document sea star wasting syndrome. Russ will explain what his team is doing and why, and then show pictures and video taken at depths ranging from around 20 feet to nearly 200 feet. They have detected around 30 different species and though will not show all of them, attendees will see a few species they very likely have not seen before. 

Russ will bring the ROV along to Cama Center, set it up, do a short demo and make it available for people to look at up close after the presentation and even try using the controller themselves, if you like. 

Russ Holmes of SWS will be joined by Michael Kyte, independent community scientist.

Pycnopodia helianthoides
Pycnopodia helianthoides

Pycnopodia helianthoides is the target species we seek to survey. The photo here of P. helianthoides was taken by the ROV during a recent dive.

The ROV is owned by Cama Beach Foundation and previously it was deployed from a boat on loan from the Wooden Boat Center at Cama. For 2022, the Wooden Boat Center is closed and the team may be in search of a boat-with-driver from which to deploy the ROV.

For more info about Sea Star Wasting Disease, see Michael Kyte’s article in the Winter 2021 SWS Newsletter (scroll down inside newsletter).


10 to 10:30 am: Business Meeting, Facilitator – Gaylen Heacock

  • First People’s Acknowledgement – Joan
  • In Memoriam – Remembering Greg Bloom, Terry Skorheim
  • Camano Volunteers are needed for
  • Sound Waters University update – Tom
  • Stewardship Committee brief update – Scott
    • We are creating a crabber education team to plan 2023 activities, Would you like to participate?
      • We have Scott Chase, Sego Jackson so far
  • Exec Director and/or Board update
    • Picnic at West Beach in Deception Pass was wonderful – thank you to Whidbey volunteers and Vance for mussels!
  • Let’s be Visible – Raise your hands and wave if you recently participated in – led by Joan
    • Northern Giant Hornet trapping
    • Bluff Erosion study
    • Bull Kelp Study
    • Forage Fish Survey
    • Green Crab survey
    • Intertidal Monitoring
    • Marine Mammal stranding or protection
    • Pigeon Guillemot survey
    • Sound Toxins or attended DOH talk on shellfish safety
    • Low-Tide Beach Walk
    • Pop-Up Booth with Tina
    • Beach Cleanup
    • Crabber Education
    • Other education activities like rigging up education materials or field testing the underwater camera
    • Planning, leading or attending VET field trips or VET classes
    • Weeding or Mulching or Tree Watering
    • LEP, Steering Committees, Fund Development, Board
    • any committee or any activity not already listed
    • THANK YOU ALL so much for ALL you are doing!
  • After the meeting – forest trail hike? beach walk? lunch at Elger Bay Cafe or 282? or other social time

10:30: Speaker Presentation

11:30 am to noon: Clean Up and Social Time, Play with ROV

  • MORE SOCIAL TIME: would you like to walk the trails together at the park? or go together for lunch at an outdoor cafe?

Meeting Location is Cama Center at Cama Beach State Park on Camano.

Picture below by Mary Gage, Class of 2022, during the mid-July low tide beach walk at Cama Beach State Park. More low tide walks are happening on Aug 10-13.