Discover the species that live in our seas and find out how to protect them
Capturing our Coast is a project where people around the UK help scientists better understand coastal wildlife.
Starting in 2016, the project trained almost 3,000 citizen scientists to carry out detailed surveys of marine life on the UK’s rocky shores. Scientists have used the data collected to fill knowledge gaps about the diversity of animals and seaweeds on our coasts.
The first phase of Capturing our Coast was a collaboration between Earthwatch Europe and seven other conservation and academic organisations. Earthwatch was responsible for coordinating the volunteers who collected much of the data, and who were crucial to the success of the project.
Phase 1 of the project ended in autumn 2018, but there are still plenty of activities for people to get involved with.
The first phase of the Capturing our Coast project was a huge success. The data collected is providing scientists with a detailed understanding of the marine life around the UK’s coasts, and will be useful for decades to come.
Another important focus of the project was to encourage the public to take part in scientific research. The enthusiasm showed by the volunteers inspired all the researchers involved and proved citizen scientists can deliver robust and critically important research on a large scale.
Nearly 3,000 volunteers were trained to carry out detailed surveys of marine life
locations were surveyed across the whole country
scientific publications have used Capturing our Coast data
of organised events, including data collection days and social events
data points were collected during 1,700 survey days
Although the first phase of the project has ended, there are still plenty of opportunities for anyone to get involved in marine conservation.
We have several activities that anyone can try, which will provide scientists with the data they need to understand the diversity of marine life on our rocky shores. Some of the activities will also help analyse the data collected during Capturing our Coast – and with so much data to get through, we need all the help we can get!
Below are just a few of the activities that you can still take part in. You can find more on the Capturing our Coast website.
Images: iStock/Rob Cherry, Rory Mackinnon, iStock/Leon Woods, iStock/Corhill 65, iStock/Brett Taylor, iStock/Frank Lu