Search is on for coastal citizens

At Newcastle University's Dove Marine Laboratory at Cullercoats is Dr Heather Sugden. Picture by Mike Urwin.

At Newcastle University's Dove Marine Laboratory at Cullercoats is Dr Heather Sugden. Picture by Mike Urwin.

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Coastal citizens are being sought to take part in the largest coastal marine project ever undertaken.

The £1.1m Capturing Our Coast project, funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund, is designed to increase the understanding of marine life around the UK.

The research is being led by Newcastle University’s Dove Marine Laboratory in Cullercoats and will involve 3,000 citizen scientists to help collect vital data about coastal regions and the impact climate change is having on them.

Dr Heather Sugden, co-principal investigator based at Newcastle University, said: “This is the first project of its kind and an exciting opportunity for anyone with a fascination for marine life and a desire to make a real impact on our understanding – and ultimately the protection – of our coastal environment.

“What this project aims to do is develop a network of citizen scientists who can help us build an accurate picture of marine life all around the UK – a baseline against which we can better understand the impact of climate change and other environmental and human factors.

“The data we collect will fill key knowledge gaps such as geographic species distributions, movement of warm water species, and occurrences of invasive non-native species.”

Training and ongoing support will be provided to volunteers by experts in marine science to ensure ongoing interest and high-quality data. Capturing our Coast will also be available to those who can’t get out to the shore, with the establishment of web-based citizen science options.

To get involved or for more information, visit www.
capturingourcoast.co.uk