Citizen science in shifting sands
Sea Grant volunteers in three states track our changing coasts
Story by: Tim Briggs, New Hampshire Sea Grant
In a changing climate, sea-level rise, storm surge and erosion all threaten our coasts’ sandy beaches. How can researchers hope to keep a finger on the pulse of the shifting sands? Across the Sea Grant network, volunteer citizen scientists from local communities are getting involved. Teams from New Hampshire, Maine and California Sea Grant programs brave sub-zero temperatures, gale force winds and packed tourist seasons to collect year-round beach profile data.
Beach profile volunteers survey the contour (or slope) of a beach, monitoring how beaches change over time. Long-term beach profile data are then used by scientists and resource managers to better understand beach dynamics and to make important decisions about beach management.
Read the full, interactive story about how Sea Grant volunteers are helping communities learn more about their valuable beaches and changing coastlines, here.