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CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECTS
Estuary EDventures is going GLOBAL here at Tampa Bay Watch! Our students, alongside our education staff, are working together to collect scientific data that is contributed to worldwide projects. These programs are a direct cause of environmental stewardship and positive change. Get involved and be a part of the change!
EarthEcho Water Challenge
EarthEcho International develops programs to equip new generations of leaders and problem solvers to identify and tackle environmental challenges. The EarthEcho Water Challenge promotes the protection of water resources we depend on every day. Students collect and test local water parameters to monitor the quality of the water and contribute that data to a database monitoring the health of the world’s oceans. Participation in the EarthEcho Water Challenge allows students to be a part of the solution to water issues worldwide.
Florida Microplastic Awareness Project
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) supports the Florida Microplastic Awareness Project (FMAP) as a part of its Marine Debris Program. As an educational and outreach project, the goal of FMAP is to increase public awareness of microplastic concentration in our ocean’s waters and its implications. Students and volunteers collect local coastal water samples and filter them to collect and identify microplastics. Contributing this data to a state-wide database allows for a comprehensive understanding of the impact of plastic in our local waters. This project increases public awareness and encourages individuals to take action to reduce the negative impact of microplastics.
Phytoplankton Monitoring Network
The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, supported by NOAA, started the Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN) to promote a better understanding of harmful algal blooms by way of volunteer monitoring. Students and volunteers collect samples of local plankton and identify species under a microscope and contribute their findings to a worldwide database. Volunteers are able to identify general trends of phytoplankton abundance and identify harmful algal blooms. This leads to a better understanding of phytoplankton research and its importance.
Supported by Project Seahorse, a marine conservation group committed to the conservation and sustainable use of the world’s coastal marine ecosystems, iSeahorse is a tool for seahorse science and conservation. During our seining procedure, students collect data including identification, sex, and size of seahorses before releasing them back into the wild. Scientists and experts around the world use this vital information to better understand seahorse behavior, species ranges, and the threats seahorses face. Through this citizen science project, students and volunteers improve their understanding of seahorses and aid in protecting them from overfishing and other threats.
International Coastal Cleanup
Founded by the Ocean Conservancy, the International Coastal Cleanup program has collected more than 220 million pounds of trash in over 100 countries. Together, students participate in a local coastal cleanup and record their findings. Collectively, the data is submitted into the Ocean Conservancy’s global database. Understanding the leading contributors to marine debris provides activists a better indication of how to approach solutions. Students will hopefully leave feeling empowered, knowing they were a part of the solution to the issue of marine debris.
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