Volunteers needed for Annual Coastwatch Survey

14 Sep 2016

The Coastwatch survey is a methodical audit of the shore around low tide carried out by citizens. It is exercise in fresh sea air, challenging, exciting when you find something special and the data collected produces a picture of our coast and its health. Past results of this citizen science project - coordinated internationally by Coastwatch in Trinity College Dublin - have contributed to official knowledge of the coast and been included in the NWW Marine Atlas and other reports and maps. Most importantly it provides the base for follow up action on specific site issues highlighted and on wider policy. Coastwatch has proposed and pushed changes like the successful plastic bag tax in the past. The more coast is covered the stronger the data. This year our eyes are set on 1000 sites.

Volunteers are needed from all walks of life including families, politicians, staff on a team building or community help day, surfers, bathers, fishermen, schools and scouts, farmers with coastal land, seaweed harvesters and dog walkers.

What it involves: Volunteers choose one or more ‘survey units’ that is 500m of shore and then carry out a once off eco-audit of that area around low tide, checking it from land to the water’s edge. Set survey questions are answered while on the shore with posters and guide notes to help. Materials can be downloaded or hard copies provided by Coastwatch coordinators. Water quality test kits are also available and the Coastwatch team will help with training and any queries.

Booking is now open – just google ‘Coastwatch survey’– or use link Volunteers can select areas on an interactive map and request test kits to be posted out.

Coastwatch Europe: Internationally more countries are converting to the new GIS on line map format developed in Ireland by Angel Duarte who is now the international technical coordinator. He just digitised the coast of Malta.

All Ireland: Two special initiatives are planned for this year’s survey

HIGH NATURE VALUE AREAS: set habitats with focus on the big brown seaweeds and locations incl X-border Carlingford Lough, Dublin Bay Biosphere Reserve, the Waterford Estuary, Cork Harbour and Galway Bay.

LITTER ATTACK: Identify deposition n areas to prioritise these for clean ups and use the new micro litter app developed by Coastwatch, to get an impression of visible micro litter - like plastic pellets, flakes and filaments - on the shore. These make nature sick and ultimately us at the top of the food chain. So here we need preventative measures including substitution of most offending materials. 

Survey runs Sept 15th – Oct 15th. Bookings open from Sun. 28th August

More information mail
Phone+353(0)18962599 or mob(0)86 8111684