Beach Watch puts 16 years of observations in the public’s hands

Press release

By on Thu, January 28, 2010

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The public now has access to sixteen years of biological data from 41 Northern California beaches through the Beach Watch online query system.

Beach Watch was founded in 1993 and covers the outer coast of central California between Bodega Head in Sonoma County through Año Nuevo State Reserve in San Mateo County, as well as beaches inside Tomales Bay and Bolinas Lagoon. Along each beach segment, live bird and marine mammals are counted, dead vertebrates are documented, human and dog activities are recorded, and data is collected on oil and tarball abundance and distribution, vegetation/algae wrack, invertebrates, and stream and lagoon status (opened or closed to the ocean).
The online query system allows public access to data on live birds and marine mammals and dead vertebrates.  Users can choose different filters and groupings to view the data; for example, the data can be queried for specific species, by individual beaches, or for a particular date range.  The data are summarized and can also be displayed in graph form. 

The Beach Watch shoreline-monitoring program is a partnership of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association.