Why carry on collecting CoCoast data? A view from the scientists
Since January 2016, CoCoast has trained almost 3,000 citizen scientists to carry out transect surveys of marine species on UK rocky shores. This army of volunteers continues to collect data across UK coasts, contributing to gaps in our knowledge of marine biodiversity and providing a baseline to explore responses to environmental change.
Trained CoCoast volunteers (aged 18+) who have attended a training day at one of the hubs.
Professor Michael Burrows, Scottish Association of Marine Science:
CoCoast has created a unique picture of the patterns of life on our rocky shores. This has been hugely useful for understanding how our coasts might change with our changing climate in the face of heatwaves, storms, and a generally warming world. Where the data becomes incredibly valuable is as a baseline against which we can judge the effects of such events as they happen. Has the hot summer of 2018 had an impact on rocky shore species, for example?
While the first CoCoast project will end in October 2018, we welcome more CoCoast data from our network of trained volunteers. There will not be the ongoing support that we were able to offer during the project but, as highly trained surveyors, you will be able to upload results to the website for the period leading up to the next funded phase of CoCoast. Practically, surveys of the same sites every year at the same time would be most useful. We will review these data every few months and use them to answer those questions about the continuing changes on our seashores.