Members of the public are invited to become science volunteers as part of the newest project by the North Sound Stewards Program, organized by the Whatcom Marine Resources Committee (MRC) and RE Sources. The program will utilize iNaturalist, a free app and web page online crowdsourcing and social network. Community members can share their observations along Whatcom County’s marine shorelines, get help identifying plants and animals, and create research-quality data for scientists. iNaturalist is built on the concept of mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe.
To join, first create an account on iNaturalist using the instructions provided, then navigate to Community > Projects and search or navigate to “Whatcom Marine Shoreline Summer Observation.” Click on the project page, then join.
This project is open now through September 7. The site’s “About” section includes suggestions for locations to conduct observations, but the project includes every marine shoreline in Whatcom County.
“During a summer where we are limited in how we can gather in groups on the beach, this is a fun and educational way for folks to still get involved while collecting valuable species data,” said Eleanor Hines, Marine Resources Committee Chair. “Just please make sure that you are following all current safety and physical distancing guidelines.”
For questions, email Kaylene Riehle, North Sound Stewards Intern, Whatcom Marine Resources Committee.