£1.7m for coastal ‘citizen scientists’

Bangor Uni in £1.7m coastal 'citizen scientists' project

Mel Bloor-Steen, of Llandudno, took this picture of Dafarch Beach, Anglesey

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Mel Bloor-Steen

A north Wales university is one of seven UK centres calling on volunteers to become coastal "citizen scientists".

Bangor University is taking part in the new £1.7m Capturing Our Coast project which aims to improve understanding of UK marine wildlife.

More than 3,000 people across Britain will be trained to collect seaside samples for marine scientists.

The project is being led by Newcastle University and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for the public to get involved in hands on marine science on rocky shores and, at the same time, find out more about the research activities of marine scientists in the UK," said Bangor University's Prof Stuart Jenkins.

Climate change impact

"We aim to build a long-lasting relationship with volunteers which we hope will be mutually beneficial."

Partners include the Marine Conservation Society, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), and the Natural History Museum.

Dr Heather Sugden, one of the scientists leading the scheme, said the project was the "first of its kind" in the UK.

"What this project aims to do is develop a network of citizen scientists who can help us build an accurate picture of marine life all around the UK – a baseline against which we can better understand the impact of climate change and other environmental and human factors," she added.

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