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Sonoma County Gazette
North Coast BioBlitz

North Coast BioBlitz - June 13-20

Jun 1, 2018


What is a BioBlitz?

BioBlitzes bring people together to document biodiversity in one place at one time, recording observations of plants and animals using smartphones or digital cameras and uploading results to the biodiversity recording and social networking platform iNaturalist ( These events connect people of all backgrounds to the outdoors, inspire everyone to protect biodiversity, and at the same time generate invaluable data.

Working together, we can learn a lot more about our coast. We are off to a pretty good start here in the Golden State-- click here to explore all of the observations made with iNaturalist along the entire California coast over the past nine years. In a typical grassroots, one-day BioBlitz, together with 50 volunteers, we make 1500 observations of about 250 species in 3-4 hours. So, over these two days in June, we could add 14,000 observations, and for the first time generate a coast-wide snapshot of California Coastal biodiversity.

Why BioBlitz? We have never attempted a coordinated BioBlitz on this scale with specific questions in mind. This series of coastal BioBlitzes and individual observations will:

• Gather data critical to understanding and managing marine species

• Build awareness of the biodiversity of the California coast and the MPA Collaborative Network

• Bring together local community in support of marine stewardship

• Recruit new volunteers

Together we will increase knowledge of California’s ocean and coastal habitats and their wildlife populations. We will foster collaborations among state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and tribes, and engage a broad range of California’s communities in activities that promote coastal conservation and connect us to nature and each other.

This series of events will also work to build and expand our community of citizen scientists and stewards who can collectively advance scientific research and protection of California’s marine resources. The resulting data will be invaluable to managers and scientists for determining long-term trends, and we will be the first to use tools such as iNaturalist to monitor California’s MPAs at the same moment in time.

#SnapshotCalCoast is a California statewide effort to document our coastal biodiversity and hold a series of BioBlitzes up and down the California Coast, focusing on intertidal zones in marine protected areas (MPAs). We will be working together with the MPA Collaborative Network and other partners to create a “snapshot” in time of where species are located along our coast. The California Academy of Sciences and the Marine Protected Area Collaborative Network, with funding through the Sustaining California’s Ocean program of the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, are coordinating Snapshot Cal Coast 2018.

What to bring - Your smart device or camera, rain boots or other shoes ok to get wet, warm layers, sun hat, sunscreen, lunch, snacks, water. iNaturalist downloaded on your smartphone (optional)

WHERE to Join Us:

Jun 16 ~ Fort Ross State Historic Park: We will be meeting at Fort Ross State Historic Park at 9:00 am to witness as much of the - 1.6 tide at 7:46 am as possible. Contact Song Hunter for more info at

Jun 18 ~ Bodega Bay: on Dick Ogg’s boat to view ocean life! Arrive at the boat no later than 8:30a. The boat will launch promptly at 9:00 AM so there will be enough time to explore before the wind picks up. $30 per person or $24 for Stewards members. Register: or call (707) 869-9177. Space is limited to 25 spots.


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