Presentation Title

Developing a Citizen Science Monitoring Program

Session Title

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

Conference Track

Engagement

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type of Presentation

Oral

Keywords

Keywords: Citizen Science, Restoration Monitoring, Volunteers, Monitoring, Northwest Straits Foundation, Collaboration, Monitoring Program, Engagement

Abstract

The Northwest Straits Foundation’s mission is to protect and restore the health of the marine ecosystem by promoting and implementing science-based restoration and stewardship, enhancing collaboration, and attracting resources for the work of the Northwest Straits Initiative. We achieve this mission partly through restoration of nearshore habitats, focusing on shoreline armoring removal and shoreline riparian restoration.

Effective monitoring is critical to measuring the success of restoration actions, and monitoring results help guide future restoration and adaptive management strategies. Often times the scope of restoration monitoring is limited by funding made available for monitoring activities. Therefore, it is imperative to execute all monitoring activities as inexpensively as possible, while maintaining scientific integrity and building more support for funding of monitoring activities. Engaging private citizens in shoreline restoration monitoring achieves both of these goals.

The Northwest Straits Foundation and its partners have created a flourishing citizen science monitoring program which spans several counties and several nearshore restoration projects. Key components of the program are: site specific hypothesis driven monitoring plans; data collection protocols designed for citizen scientists; systematic training and quality control provided by professionals; efficient data storage; annual data analysis and reporting; and constant volunteer appreciation.

While implementing an effective monitoring program is not without expense, the ability to engage often highly educated citizens to collect quality data reduces the cost of data collection considerably and brings other, less quantifiable benefits to our programs. Since 2014, the Northwest Straits Foundation and its partners have tracked 1,179 volunteer hours devoted to monitoring 6 restoration projects across three counties. Because more than 70% of shoreline in Washington’s Salish Sea is owned by private landowners, engaging the community in active shoreline restoration monitoring has the added benefit of influencing public perception of the function, purpose, and benefits of shoreline restoration.

Comments

Keywords: Citizen Science, Restoration Monitoring, Volunteers, Monitoring, Northwest Straits Foundation, Collaboration, Monitoring Program, Engagement

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Developing a Citizen Science Monitoring Program

2016SSEC

The Northwest Straits Foundation’s mission is to protect and restore the health of the marine ecosystem by promoting and implementing science-based restoration and stewardship, enhancing collaboration, and attracting resources for the work of the Northwest Straits Initiative. We achieve this mission partly through restoration of nearshore habitats, focusing on shoreline armoring removal and shoreline riparian restoration.

Effective monitoring is critical to measuring the success of restoration actions, and monitoring results help guide future restoration and adaptive management strategies. Often times the scope of restoration monitoring is limited by funding made available for monitoring activities. Therefore, it is imperative to execute all monitoring activities as inexpensively as possible, while maintaining scientific integrity and building more support for funding of monitoring activities. Engaging private citizens in shoreline restoration monitoring achieves both of these goals.

The Northwest Straits Foundation and its partners have created a flourishing citizen science monitoring program which spans several counties and several nearshore restoration projects. Key components of the program are: site specific hypothesis driven monitoring plans; data collection protocols designed for citizen scientists; systematic training and quality control provided by professionals; efficient data storage; annual data analysis and reporting; and constant volunteer appreciation.

While implementing an effective monitoring program is not without expense, the ability to engage often highly educated citizens to collect quality data reduces the cost of data collection considerably and brings other, less quantifiable benefits to our programs. Since 2014, the Northwest Straits Foundation and its partners have tracked 1,179 volunteer hours devoted to monitoring 6 restoration projects across three counties. Because more than 70% of shoreline in Washington’s Salish Sea is owned by private landowners, engaging the community in active shoreline restoration monitoring has the added benefit of influencing public perception of the function, purpose, and benefits of shoreline restoration.