Weather for the Holidays

As winter approaches, bigger weather events become more common in all COASST regions. We hope that you hear our voices in your ear when you are deciding if you are going to conduct a survey – safety first!

Here are some reminders about when to stay home and have a big cup of cocoa instead of heading out on survey:

Photo of snow covered Anchor Road South, Alaska

Actively snowing (or storming) – don’t survey if the storm is too heavy to see easily or move around safely. It’s ok to stay home!

Photo credit: Russ Lewis (Grassroots Garbage Gang, Oct 2021 beach report)

Blanket of snow on the beach – don’t survey, send us a pretty picture and wait for the snow to clear! When snow covers the entire beach it also covers the things we are looking for – like bird carcasses and marine debris. That means it’s not a good time for a survey, even if the weather is otherwise safe and beautiful.

If snow covers your beach for months and months, that’s ok! We understand! In regions where snow persists all winter long, surveys of a partially cleared beach (down by the surf and wrack zones) are ok. Just let us know in the comments and mark UM in any zones that are covered by snow.

No daylight hours when there is enough beach available for survey – don’t survey, and send us any questions you might have about interpreting tide tables in your area. This issue is pretty common inside the Salish Sea! (And no – we don’t do COASST surveys by the light of a headlamp!)

Storm blows in and weather ‘turns’ halfway through your survey – let us know in the comments how much of the survey you completed (ex. I only covered the first 40% of the beach before turning around), and go get warm!

Storm caused a river to wash out, deposits a massive log/impassable object – let us know in the comments how much of the survey you completed. If you can’t get around it safely to continue your survey, that’s ok!

Photo from icy Boy Scout Beach, Alaska

Be safe this holiday season, and happy COASSTing!

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