West Seattle scenes: Sea-star sighting, and a video review

A sea star wasn’t always such a memorable sight on a tidepool walk. Saturday night, though, we were glad to hear some were spotted in Constellation Park during a nighttime low-tide walk with Seattle Aquarium naturalists. The photo is by Antonio Ventimiglia, shared by Tom, who spotted the exploration event (sorry we didn’t have it on our calendar; turns out two more are coming up in December and January, and tonight you might just want to explore the beach yourself, as the tide will be out to -2.3 feet around 11:20 pm Sunday). Back to the sea stars; you’ll recall a new report earlier this week suggested a not-so-new virus might be factoring into the massive die-off. “Diver Laura” James, who has long been watching and investigating the sea star situation as a “citizen scientist,” went back to survey in Cove 1 near Seacrest shortly afterward; she shares this video spanning 8 years, from a time of plentiful starfish, to now:

Before and after Sea Star wasting syndrome – Cove 1 West Seattle – footage spanning 8 years from Laura James on Vimeo.

P.S. Laura was out whale-watching Saturday afternoon, as were many others – here’s her video, featuring a multitude of spouts as the group of orcas swam in nearby waters.

6 Replies to "West Seattle scenes: Sea-star sighting, and a video review"

  • pse November 23, 2014 (9:55 am)

    Beautiful! Thank you, Laura, for your work! My 7yo & I watched the whales from LP – the beauty you captured on video will surely help others learn to love, and hopefully protect, our iconic orca and salmon neighbors. But – the boat with white flag (around 5min in?) – from shore, it looked like he/she steered right through the fishing pod – your video shows deliberate stalking IN THEIR MIDST. Can you please tell me this was a legitimate whale protection entity? Or….?

    • WSB November 23, 2014 (10:05 am)

      Yes, there was a research boat with the orcas. Will mention this when I post the video as a separate embed at some point later – I just added the link here as I saw it come up and didn’t have time at 4 am to ask Laura to make sure I would have permission to show it that way too.

  • pse November 23, 2014 (10:00 am)

    Or, what should we who watched should have done? At the time, I could only think of calling the Coast Guard at Alki..?

  • pse November 23, 2014 (11:48 am)

    So GREAT to hear – thank you, WSB!!! Because it was the ONLY boat out there, with plenty of people enjoying the show from shore. Educated, compassionate Puget Sounders, your restraint warms my heart!

  • westseattledood November 23, 2014 (12:25 pm)

    @ 4:16

    Yeah. Cartwheels baby!!!!!

    Thx Laura!

  • DiverLaura November 23, 2014 (12:27 pm)

    Totally fine to share :) Yes, that was a research boat likely taking pictures of the whales, maybe listening with hydrophones and doing general overall assessment.
    You can learn more about the folks doing that research at one of the monthly Whale Trail talks hosted by Donna Sandstrom from the Whale trail, Seal Sitters and myself with Tox-ick.org at C&P coffee.

Sorry, comment time is over.