Status on disease killing sea stars focus of Bellingham talk

A status report on sea stars and the disease that’s been killing them by the millions on the West Coast, including in Whatcom County, is the focus of a talk on Wednesday, April 29, at RE Sources Sustainable Living Center.

“Sea Stars and Wasting Disease in Whatcom County and Beyond: Status Report and Citizen Science” will be discussed 7 to 8 p.m. at 2309 Meridian St. in Bellingham.

Sea stars are popularly known as starfish.

Bellingham researcher Melissa Miner will provide an update on sea star wasting disease, including its probable cause, and tell how people can contribute to a sea star monitoring effort. She also will discuss how researchers have been documenting the disease.

“Sea star wasting disease has brought the health of our waters to the forefront for many of us. Watching the decline of this iconic animal has been startling,” said Wendy Steffensen, North Sound Baykeeper with RE Sources, in a news release.

Miner is a researcher with the University of Santa Cruz and works with the MARINe program or Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network.

The sea star data collected locally are housed in the MARINe database.

Details: 360-733-8307 and re-sources.org.