SANDY HOOK: CALLING ALL BIO-BLITZERS

bio-blitzPart public science project, part beat-the-clock fun competition, the second annual Bio-Blitz invites all members of the community to help take a snapshot of the diversity of plant and animal life on Sandy Hook.

Press release from American Littoral Society

It’s part contest (racing against the 24-hour clock), part educational event, part scientific endeavor, and all fun — it’s the second annual Bio-Blitz, and starting right now the American Littoral Society is inviting the public to take part in a major undertaking on September 18 and 19, designed to “create a snapshot” of Sandy Hook’s biodiversity.

By identifying as many species as possible during that 24-hour period, the Littoral Society can paint a picture of 2015 Sandy Hook, and the breathtaking array of plants, fish, birds, bugs, reptiles and furry creatures who make their summer home on the peninsula. Collected over time, this data can lead to valuable information about the effects of climate change and habitat degradation on the species that utilize this area. This will also be a unique opportunity to teach the public about the biodiversity that exists along New Jersey’s coast — particularly the unique mix of species that’s found only within the Gateway National Recreation Area.

Hosted in partnership with the National Park Service, NJ Sea Grant Consortium, and Rutgers University, the Bio-Blitz offers participants a chance to work side-by-side with scientists, naturalists, and other nature lovers as they explore Sandy Hook. Participants with scientific backgrounds are especially encouraged to sign up, to assist in cataloguing the many species present at Sandy Hook in the following taxa:

  • Plants (terrestrial and marine)
  • Bryophytes
  • Fungi
  • Invertebrates (terrestrial and marine)
  • Birds
  • Fish
  • Reptiles and Amphibians
  • Mammals

Amateur naturalists and educators are also needed to help with education programs, and to assist scientists in the successful collection and identification of species.

Not a naturalist, but want to be part of this unique effort? Bio-Blitz welcomes community volunteers to help with setup, registration, cooking, and other much-appreciated support responsibilities. Interested parties are encouraged to sign up for 4-hour shifts that meet your availability, as well as match your area of expertise or interest.

Public programs for adults and children of all ages will be available that Friday and Saturday, including opportunities to pull a seine net at sunset in Horseshoe Cove, learn how to identify the fauna and flora of Sandy Hook, and take advantage of the opportunity to see scientists in action.

Take it here to register for this one-of-a-kind community event. More information can be obtained here, or by contacting Stevie Thorsen at Stevie@littoralsociety.org.