Gathering baseline data on our coastal biodiversity, When it comes to fish species, marine invertebrates and other intertidal life, no one has any idea of population trends, threats, risks or species diversity along our shoreline.
Get involved in our current monitoring and data collection project, click icon below
The existing information is shallow to say the least. We could very realistically be loosing marine species before we even know they exist, right here on our doorstep. Knowing what we have is an important first step to conserving our coastline. This baseline data would then be used for further planning, implementation as well as more formal conservation action in the future. But our approach here is slightly different, we want locals to get involved, citizen science, people from the North Coast collecting data and information on our coastline, regularly and feeding this information into scientific databases. Once we know what we have, what the trends are, threats, rare species, common species....that level of information it critical to justifying improved conservation action.
How will it work?
Our approach to achieving this is threefold.
1) We will be running workshops with the public, school environmental groups and undertaking training sessions, the purpose of these sessions is to training the public on what to look for, how to collect the data we require and establish strict protocols for data collection to ensure statistical relevance. This will include when we collect data, what time, water conditions, tide fluctuations and what level of information is required. The planning for this will be done in close association with key scientific organizations. This is citizen science at it's best. We will need a small army of volunteers out there helping us to get the level of information we will need to ensure we can provide good justification for conserving our coast, understanding the diversity of wildlife along our coast and most importantly, getting people involved, taking ownership and having fun!
2) Developing tools and resources. Waterproof identification slates, printed identification guides and the ability photography of unknown species is going to be important to ensure we get the information. Being a citizen science project and our aim to include "non- scientists" in this project, we will be looking at developing a wide range of resources to assist people in identifying marine life (especially the smaller less conspicuous critters)
These resources will also double up as fantastic educational tools for children and tourists to the area. The ideal branding opportunity for a caring local business to get involved!
3) We want to also ensure that this information is captured in such a way that it is accessible and easy to interpret (in an online portal) that can be used by planners, environmental impact practitioners, conservation bodies and individuals to easily access information on our coast at the click of a button. Much like the highly successful Bird Atlas Project (SABAP 2) which collects amazing information and goes a long way to getting the public involved but also helping inform future decision makers. As far as we know, this will be a FIRST for coastal conservation in South Africa.
What we need?
Yes, we need help. Your help.
- Funding and sponsorships for marine experts and scientists to come out and assist with training programs,
- Funding for the development of resources, ID guides and waterproof slates (great branding opportunities)
- Sponsorship of equipment, especially underwater cameras, wetsuits and other gear which can also be used by our educational projects.
- Finding for the development of an online information, database and resource portal for the public and decision makers.
- Your time and support to get out there and collect data, contact us to get involved in our data collection as a citizen scientist.
Click Here to Find out more about getting involved, we would love to discuss opportunities with you.
Any support, donations and funding is managed by the Wilderness Leadership School with annual audited accounts, strictest fiduciary requirements and we are able to issue a section 18A Tax certificates, meaning your donations could be TAX EXEMPT !