From as far north as Alaska, and as far south as Orange County, sea stars are disappearing, decomposing in a matter of hours as they suffer from a mysterious illness known as 'sea star wasting disease.'
At the University of California, Santa Cruz, the Pacific Rocky Intertidal Monitoring Program is tracking the disease through an interactive map. Although sea star wasting disease has a wide geographic spread, its appearance is patchy, not uniform.
Researchers are soliciting the help of citizen scientists in documenting the presence and absence of the disease. Sea star data can be logged through the program's website.