Some volunteers enjoy working as a team.
In order to fully understand what's happening in Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and in the
larger ocean ecosystem, we need to gather extensive amounts of data over long periods of time.
Such vast amounts of research and long-term monitoring
are difficult to fund, and would not be possible without the
participation of citizen scientists - lay people trained and motivated to work as
"science assistants" to sanctuary staff. Several citizen science programs occur in OCNMS.
Marine Debris Monitoring
NOAA Marine Debris Shoreline Survey
Olympic Coast National Marine Santuary has been using volunteer expertise in collecting marine debris data since 2001.
In 2012 a nationally standardized method for marine debris monitoring was implemented using methods developed by
the NOAA Marine Debris Program.
Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST)
COASST volunteers identify dead seabirds and record data.
Volunteers monitor local beaches on a regular basis looking for beached sea birds and other
indicators of environmental stress.
Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF)
volunteer scuba divers count fish and large invertebrates off Cape Flattery.
In the Mussel Watch program, samples of bivalves are collected for contaminant analysis.
Some volunteers work on the
Mussel Watch program
helping monitoring the status and trends of toxic contaminants in shellfish.
And volunteers who collect and tabulate marine debris on our beaches all know they are contributing
to important research. By participating first hand they get to watch the project evolve, and they
develop an even greater appetite for new knowledge.
Citizen scientists help us communicate what's happening in the field to the larger community when
they talk about their research with friends and neighbors. They take satisfaction in knowing that
they are volunteering their time in ways that produce valuable data, and they are very effective
in recruiting new volunteers to join the effort.
Contact for page content: Liam Antrim