Type of Presentation

Poster

Session Title

Shoreline Monitoring: Citizen Science, Restoration Effectiveness, and Data Integration

Description

From 2013 to 2015, the Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee, RE Sources, and citizen science volunteers performed intertidal surveys at Boulevard Park, Bellingham, WA. Restoration efforts after the 2013 surveys at the park allowed for a unique opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of restoration while also collecting baseline data for beach slope, substrate, and intertidal biodiversity. The intertidal surveys were conducted at the tidal heights of +6’, +4’, +1’, and -1’ at two restored sites, profile sites 3 and 7, and two sites that were not modified, Pete’s Beach Central and North. The methods were largely influenced by the WSU Baywatcher program with slight modification when necessary. Beach slope remained fairly constant for three of the sites although it appears profile site 7 is losing substrate as the elevation has begun to drop more quickly over the last two years. Substrate in 2013 was mostly composed of pebbles, cobbles, and boulders with other materials also present at select sites. The non-restoration sites had similar substrate composition from year to year. Sand and cobbles were introduced at the restoration sites to replace riprap after the 2013 surveys. In 2014 and 2015, cobbles were the most common substrate at higher tidal elevations while boulders were observed most commonly at lower tidal elevations. Intertidal biodiversity was variable from year to year at all four of the sites. Of note, Ulva sp. were the most common algae, barnacles were accounted for at most study sites, and Littorina and Limpet sp. were the most abundant organisms. From the 2015 surveys, colonization appears to have begun at the restored sites. The intertidal surveys at Boulevard Park have established baseline data helpful in determining the success of the restoration efforts while also bringing together various groups in the community to engage in useful citizen science.

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Citizen Science Intertidal Monitoring Program Compares Shoreline Restoration Sites at Boulevard Park, Bellingham, Washington

2016SSEC

From 2013 to 2015, the Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee, RE Sources, and citizen science volunteers performed intertidal surveys at Boulevard Park, Bellingham, WA. Restoration efforts after the 2013 surveys at the park allowed for a unique opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of restoration while also collecting baseline data for beach slope, substrate, and intertidal biodiversity. The intertidal surveys were conducted at the tidal heights of +6’, +4’, +1’, and -1’ at two restored sites, profile sites 3 and 7, and two sites that were not modified, Pete’s Beach Central and North. The methods were largely influenced by the WSU Baywatcher program with slight modification when necessary. Beach slope remained fairly constant for three of the sites although it appears profile site 7 is losing substrate as the elevation has begun to drop more quickly over the last two years. Substrate in 2013 was mostly composed of pebbles, cobbles, and boulders with other materials also present at select sites. The non-restoration sites had similar substrate composition from year to year. Sand and cobbles were introduced at the restoration sites to replace riprap after the 2013 surveys. In 2014 and 2015, cobbles were the most common substrate at higher tidal elevations while boulders were observed most commonly at lower tidal elevations. Intertidal biodiversity was variable from year to year at all four of the sites. Of note, Ulva sp. were the most common algae, barnacles were accounted for at most study sites, and Littorina and Limpet sp. were the most abundant organisms. From the 2015 surveys, colonization appears to have begun at the restored sites. The intertidal surveys at Boulevard Park have established baseline data helpful in determining the success of the restoration efforts while also bringing together various groups in the community to engage in useful citizen science.