Eelgrass Tracker - Morro Bay National Estuary Program

 

New, independent volunteer opportunity

If you are already paddling/kayaking the bay recreationally, the Estuary Program could use your support getting more eyes on the eelgrass at low tides. Eelgrass provides critical habitat and has been recovering recently after a large scale decline. Through the use of aerial images, we track bay-wide eelgrass extent regularly. It is extremely helpful to have on-the-ground data to support what is also captured from the air.

To learn more about this volunteer opportunity, please click here for a PDF that includes all of the details.

If you would like to volunteer, you can collect and submit photos and descriptions of eelgrass at different sites in the bay at will. Please use the steps below to get started.

COVID-19 precautions

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, you must use your own personal equipment (e.g., kayak, phone or other GPS unit) to capture this information. A signed COVID-19 specific waiver is also required.

How to volunteer

Step 1: Let us know you’re interested!

Fill out this short form with your name and email address to let us know you’re interested. We’ll send you the site sign-up sheet and waivers so that you can get started.

Step 2: Sign up for sites

Click the link we send you after you sign up, locate the Eelgrass Tracker spreadsheet, and open it. Click on the tab labeled “SIGN UP” and enter your name of the line for the the site(s) you are able to visit during low tides from December 2020 through January 2021. You can complete these visits on your own time. Low tides dates are provided on page 2 for your convenience.

Step 3: Fill out and submit your waivers

Click on the same link and find the Waivers folder. Download and fill out both the Assumption of Risk Agreement form and the Volunteer Safety Agreement for COVID form. Email your completed forms to Makenzie O’Connor at moconnor@mbnep.org. Both volunteer waiver forms must be submitted before you begin volunteering.

Step 4: Photograph and observe

Collect eelgrass photos and field observations at one or more sites. Please make sure that you visit the site(s) you signed up for.

Step 5: Input your data

When you return from visiting the site(s) you have chosen, please click the link we sent when you signed up and open the Eelgrass Tracker spreadsheet. Find the corresponding page for each site where you collected photographs and observations. (For example, if you visited Site B, find the tab labeled ‘B’ at the bottom of the spreadsheet.)  Then, enter your data and upload your field photos/information to that sheet.

Questions?

If you have questions, please fill out the interest form and enter them in the “Questions” field. An Estuary Program staff member will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you!

Morro Bay National Estuary Program brings together citizens, local governments, nonprofits, agencies, and landowners to protect and restore the Morro Bay estuary.

Protecting and Restoring the Morro Bay Estuary.