• tidepool
    © California Academy of Sciences
  • tidepool calacademy
    © California Academy of Sciences
  • tidepool
    © California Academy of Sciences

SAN FRANCISCO (June 20, 2017) —This summer, California families have a perfect excuse to connect with nature, explore the beach, and support science like never before. From June 23 through July 2, citizen scientists will document fish and wildlife up and down California’s coast as part of a bioblitz (a volunteer-powered nature survey) called “Snapshot Cal Coast.” In its second year, this monumental public effort to explore and document nature extends beyond the state’s 124 marine protected areas to highlight the entire coastline. The multi-city event calls on citizen scientists, nature and science fans, and people of all ages to provide a snapshot of biodiversity along our iconic—and ever-changing—coast.

Snapshot Cal Coast will include a series of bioblitzes where volunteers record plant, kelp, and animal sightings using the free app called iNaturalist. Strike out on your own, join one of the Academy’s 13 Bay Area bioblitz events, or find an event in your favorite coastal spot. Members of the public visiting the coast during Snapshot Cal Coast are asked to observe this tidepool etiquette.

For both budding and veteran citizen scientists, participating couldn’t be easier:

  1. Download the free iNaturalist app to your mobile device.

  2. Between June 23 and July 2, take photos to make “observations” of wild plants, seaweeds, and animals along California’s coast.

  3. Upload your photos to iNaturalist.

  4. Learn more as the iNaturalist community helps identify your observations.

“All of the observations from citizen scientists will add up to a snapshot of what species are found where at this moment in time—a baseline against which we can measure future change,” says Dr. Rebecca Johnson, Academy Citizen Science Manager. “We could never gather data at this scale without the help of so many volunteers, and this event will also help build a community that is motivated and informed to protect California’s marine biodiversity.”

The goal of Snapshot Cal Coast is to learn as much as possible about coastal wildlife, but volunteers are encouraged to pay extra attention to the following “most wanted” species that are affected by emerging diseases, invasive species, and changing ocean conditions:

Snapshot Cal Coast is coordinated by the California Academy of Sciences and the Marine Protected Area Collaborative Network, with funding provided by the Sustaining California’s Ocean Program of Resources Legacy Fund Foundation. For more information about Snapshot Cal Coast, visit the Academy’s website and view observations here on iNaturalist.

When: June 23–July 2, 2017

Organizing and participating partners
MPA Collaborative Network
Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation
​Northcoast Environmental Center
​Noyo Center
Reef Check California
Fort Ross Conservancy
Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods
Environmental Action Committee of West Marin
California Academy of Sciences
Sequoia Audubon
Ocean Protection Council
Shark Stewards
Long Marine Lab
California State Parks (various)
Pacific Grove Museum
​LiMPETS Monitoring
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
​Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation
USC Sea Grant
Los Angeles Waterkeeper
Heal the Bay
Los Angeles County Natural History Museum
Aquarium of the Pacific
​Terranea Resort
Orange County Coastkeeper
Catalina Island Conservancy
Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies
Crystal Cove Conservancy/Crystal Cove State Park
Laguna Ocean Foundation
City of Dana Point
Cal Poly Pomona
City of Encinitas
Ocean Sanctuaries
San Diego Zoo
Cal eDNA​
Bay Nature
California Center for Natural History
​SEALIFE Aquarium
​Morro Bay Natural History Museum
​Wholly H2O
​EcoCenter at Heron's Head

About research at the California Academy of Sciences

The Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability at the California Academy of Sciences is at the forefront of efforts to understand two of the most important topics of our time: the nature and sustainability of life on Earth. Based in San Francisco, the Institute is home to more than 100 world-class scientists, state-of-the-art facilities, and nearly 46 million scientific specimens from around the world. The Institute also leverages the expertise and efforts of more than 100 international Associates and 400 distinguished Fellows. Through expeditions around the globe, investigations in the lab, and analysis of vast biological datasets, the Institute’s scientists work to understand the evolution and interconnectedness of organisms and ecosystems, the threats they face around the world, and the most effective strategies for sustaining them into the future. Through innovative partnerships and public engagement initiatives, they also guide critical sustainability and conservation decisions worldwide, inspire and mentor the next generation of scientists, and foster responsible stewardship of our planet.

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