Citizen Science at the Beach
While you’re strolling along the beach this summer, consider sharing some of your keen observations with marine ecologists. Below, we’ve highlighted six beach-related citizen science projects to monitor the health of marine habitats. There is even one you can do while couch-surfing (see what we did there?). Find more projects and events on SciStarter, to do now or bookmark for later.
The SciStarter Team
Have you seen a jellyfish at your favorite beach yet? Jellywatch is a global public database documenting jellyfish but also red tides, squid and mammal strandings, and other indicators of ocean health. It’s simple to share your beach observations with this open database.
Surveying bird mortality is a helpful measure of marine ecology health. If you spot a dead bird along the beach, send in your observation to these researchers.
Help quantify and remove debris from Maui’s coastline. Contact project organizer Pacific Whale Foundation to get supplies before heading out. This project also works with schools to support conservation education.
Monitor environmental changes along the coastlines of the United Kingdom. These observations help track the distribution of native plants and the occurrence of invasive species.
Help protect the habitat of the endangered Pacific Northwest orca. Listen in real time to underwater sounds and record when you hear orca sounds or threatening man-made sounds.
This project reports on the behavior of grunions, silvery fish that come ashore to spawn. Grunion runs occur about this time each year. If you missed the run, you can use SciStarter’s Bookmark feature to be reminded of this project next season.