Oregon Divers Find Hope In Thousands Of Young Sea Stars

Oct 23, 2014

A team of divers has discovered thousands of young sea stars off the Oregon coast near Florence. Some say it could be a sign of recovery from a disease that's been wiping out sea stars all along the Pacific coast.

Divers with the Oregon Coast Aquarium discovered thousands of juvenile sea stars in Florence.
Credit Oregon Coast Aquarium

At first, the dive team thought they were barnacles. But a closer look revealed they were actually thousands of little sea stars covering the rocks. Divers with the Oregon Coast Aquarium counted more than 200 sea stars in one square meter.
It's a welcome sign of reproduction amid a mass die-off West Coast starfish. A disease known as sea star wasting syndrome has wiped out millions of sea stars from Mexico to Alaska.

Stuart Clausen of the Oregon Coast Aquarium says these new sea stars might be a sign of recovery.

Clausen: "It's definitely an encouraging sign to see them potentially starting to bounce back from what was a pretty significant event, is encouraging."

Divers with the aquarium plan to return to the site monthly to see if the sea stars remain healthy.

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