The Coastwatch Survey is designed to give an overview of the state of the coast. It involves volunteers from all walks of life checking their chosen 500m stretch of coast (survey unit) once around low tide, and jotting observations down on the survey questionnaire while on the shore. This citizen science work can be augmented with water tests. Data is then collected and pooled to provide a snapshot of state in areas surveyed at that time – see examples from Ireland N and S below.
The Coastwatch survey was born in 1987 and has adapted over time with updates from paper maps to modern GIS and alignment to EU water law like the MSFD, WFD, Waste and Nature law. It takes in several countires all around Europe, with some common base questions that are identical and can be pooled for an European report.
- All Ireland - Northern Ireland and Rep. of Ireland - See materials and info below (from Sept 15th to Oct 15th).
- SW of England - Takes place at the same time as the All Ireland Survey (from Sept 15th to Oct 15th).
- Spain - Coordinated nationally by Colectivo Ornitológico Cigüeña Negra
- Portugal - Coordinated by GEOTA: Grupo de Estudos de Ordenamento do Território e Ambiente
- Malta - Update in progress
- Romania - Update in progress
- Germany - Update in progress
ALL IRELAND SURVEY 2018
Here you will find all relevant documents and links for the All Ireland Coastwatch Survey. The Coastwatch Survey 2018 is now over. The next survey will start on September 2019. You can see results from previous years here. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
Overall Coordination: KDubsky@coastwatch.org or +353 (0) 868111684 ·· Northern Ireland: Dave.Wall@ulsterwildlife.org or +44 7739 700793
Go to the map to choose a survey area. Zoom in and click the blue/white lines denoting a 500 meter survey unit; the ID code will pop up.
If not going out immediately you can book your survey sites using our online form.
You can contact your Coastwatch Regional Coordinator or TCD office firstname.lastname@example.org to: (1) get an area allocated or ask for training; (2) get extra materials (Nitrate/nitrite test sticks, etc.)
Check the tides and plan your survey to start about 1 or 1.5 hours before low tide.
(with Extra Questions) – Use one for every survey unit (500 m).
Draft (to be updated). Read them before you go out to survey.
Extras – Coastwatch materials for use as any time of year:
If your survey unit is in a harbour, marina or includes a slipway/pier
A citizen science pilot pack to raise awareness about the importance of seaweed.
3. Data Return – submit the results of your work online
Please, submit data for each survey unit (500m) individually.
Alternatively you can post your questionnaires and photos (CD) to Civil & Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, College Green, Dublin 2, Rep. of Ireland
COASTWATCH SURVEY RESULTS - OPEN DATA
The data collected by the hundreds of volunteers participating every year in the Coastwatch Survey, giving their time and energy for free, is published openly under a Creative Common license (CC BY-NC-SA).