The Wildlife Trusts are launching a new version of their popular citizen science project today – Shoresearch – and are calling on everyone to get involved in monitoring marine life on UK shores. The data collected through this national effort will help experts monitor our fragile sea life and better understand the effects of pollution, climate change and invasive alien species.
Previous Shoresearch surveys have varied in methodology around the UK. Now, for the first time, the same data collection method will be applied around the UK, which will ensure that species records can be compared and change can be monitored. Anyone can get involved by attending a free Shoresearch event hosted by a coastal Wildlife Trust. People will be trained to identify and record intertidal plants and animals and their habitats.
The launch of Shoresearch coincides with National Marine Week, which runs from 27 July to 11 August 2019. National Marine Week – it runs for a fortnight to take advantage of the tides – is a chance to celebrate the wonderful wildlife found in the seas around the UK and there’s a jam-packed programme of events and activities – including inland. Shoresearch events will take place during National Marine Week, as well as through the rest of the year.
Joan Edwards, Director of Living Seas at The Wildlife Trusts says: “This is the first-time people will be able to contribute to a national effort for our seas and be part of marine conservation in action. People love the sea and want to save it from the many threats it now faces. Shoresearch means they can do something about it and get stuck in. We have developed a new survey method which Wildlife Trusts around the UK are pioneering, and this will contribute to a national database, inform national conservation strategies and mean that protected areas can be properly cared for.”
Find out more at: www.wildlifetrusts.org/shoresearch. Contact a nearby coastal Wildlife Trust to find out about Shoresearch activities – you can find your local Wildlife Trust at www.wildlifetrusts.org/find-wildlife-trust
Photographs by Emily Cunningham and Toby Roxburgh