Coastwatch seeks ‘Citizen Scientists’ to survey the sea shore!
Coastwatch Ireland’s annual sea shore survey is taking place over the coming weeks and they are looking for volunteers to take part. The survey is easy to do and is suitable for non-specialists so it can be carried out by individuals, schools, scouts, families or walking groups or just about anyone who likes to walk on the beach!
For the survey, volunteers are asked to survey a 500m stretch of shoreline at low tide and note down their findings on a special survey questionnaire. Information is collected on land and shore use, inflow water quality, presence of select plants and animals, waste, pollution and litter, and surveyors views on threats to the coast as well as special features to protect.
If you are interested in taking part simply go to www.coastwatch.org where you can download the survey questionnaire and guide notes. You can also use the new Coastwatch Google map programme to help you select an area of shore to survey. After you have completed your survey, you can post the results directly to Coastwatch Ireland or enter them on the website. Photos and videos are also very welcome and feel free to share your story on the Coastwatch facebook page!
There are two local co-ordinators in Galway City and County who are here to help so do get in touch with them if you are thinking of taking part. These co-ordinators also have test kits for volunteers who wish to test the water quality on site. Kevin Lynch is covering the city coastline between Oranmore and Barna. He can be contacted at 091 495779 or [log in to unmask]. Elaine O’Riordan is there for volunteers in South County Galway and Connemara. Contact 091 495921 or [log in to unmask]
This year is the 25th anniversary of the first Irish Coastwatch Survey. Every year, important information is gathered by volunteers which can help improve coastal zone management and highlight issues around the coast. This is your chance to contribute your piece in a huge coastal snapshot . Coastwatch calls this ‘Citizen Science’. A results highlights seminar and celebration are planned for Nov 30th.
The survey runs until 15th October and we are trying to get as many people as possible out to explore their shore in the next couple of weeks – so grab your wellies and get out to the beach !
Galway County Biodiversity Project Manager,
Applied Ecology Unit,
Centre for Environmental Science,
Phone 091 495921
Fax 091 494598