The Coastwatch project is looking for volunteers to carry out an eco-audit of County Wicklow’s coastline.
This annual autumn Coastwatch citizen science shore survey runs from mid-September to mid-October with the aim being to carry out a once off snapshot survey of the shoreline taken at low tide.
Coastwatch is looking for both experienced surveyors and newcomers to take part and would welcome coastal farmers, schools, swimming, paddle boarding, dive and kayak clubs who might arrange to cover a larger shore area between them.
Deirdre Burns, Wicklow County Council Heritage Officer and regional co-ordinator for the survey, said: “Of Ireland’s 7,500 km of coastline, approximately 60 km occurs in county Wicklow. This survey is a wonderful way to spend time getting to know our coastline and helping to document changes that are occurring over time.”
The survey can be completed over a single visit at low tide between now and mid-October.
Participants should visit www.coastwatch.org and click on the map. The coastline is marked out in 500m units and surveyors can sign up for one or more units. It is then a matter of filling in the survey questionnaire when you visit your site. Map, survey forms, wildlife posters and information can all be downloaded from the website or drop an e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for hard copies.
Also available on request are nitrate kits that can be used to test water quality where there is a watercourse in a survey unit.
The annual Coastwatch survey has been running since 1987, making it Ireland’s longest running citizen science initiative. Surveyors can augment their shore audits with photos and videos of species, habitats, landscape, litter, pollution and oddities.