Part of our work involves encouraging local communities to get involved with environmental monitoring of large macroalgal blooms in their local estuarine areas. We plan to collaborate with local communities, as well as local and national voluntary organisations, in order to develop an extensive volunteer network. Here, we will provide key information regarding seaweed blooms and essential training in environmental sampling and monitoring techniques in the field. In return, the volunteers will help our research by providing samples collected from macroalgal bloom areas and any information regarding bloom development throughout the year.
Samples of the different types of macroalgae present in the blooms will be collected by volunteers near the shoreline.
Water samples will be collected by volunteers in the same location as macroalgal samples and filtered.
Data logger devices monitoring environmental conditions will be deployed at sampling points. Volunteers will help in maintaining these devices.
Volunteers will help in identifying and estimating the abundance of main bird species found within the bloom, as well as observe feeding behaviours.