Sea star wasting syndrome has been observed and documented in Kachemak Bay since 2013. The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies in Homer, Coastwatch Alaska and other local research groups have watched and noted as sunflower sea stars declined by over 90%.
Last month, the International Union for Conservation of Nature listed the sunflower star as critically endangered. Even after seven years of study, scientists have not been able to determine the cause of the wasting disease.
Katie Gavenus is the program director at CACS. She spoke with KBBI's Kathleen Gustafson Wednesday morning on the Coffee Table. Gavenus says Coastal Studies started submitting data to a study by Oregon State University in 2014.