In this project, an existing citizen-science data set, collected through LiMPETS, short for Long-term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students, will be analyzed and integrated into the baseline data being collected by the other research teams. The LiMPET data includes surveys of the Pacific mole crab, a denizen of sandy beaches, at 16 sites within the North Central Coast study, including beaches in and around two of the new marine protected areas. It also includes a more diverse and complex data set of rocky intertidal ecology at four sites in the region, including areas in and around two of the new marine protected areas. The rocky intertidal survey data follow trends in 33 key invertebrate and algae species/taxa. Each of the 33 is surveyed for one or more of the following reasons: It is abundant, easily recognized, near the boundaries of its distribution limits and/or sensitive to trampling, harvesting and pollution. In addition to our existing long-term dataset, we are receiving funding to monitor the LiMPETS sites in and around the new MPAs for 2 years, to further enhance the creation of a meaningful benchmark for the North Central Coast. The LiMPETS program, by its very nature, prioritizes the teaching of science literacy and ocean stewardship. The data collected by volunteers, however, is also scientifically meaningful and complements the baseline students being conducted by professional scientists.

Project leaders

Amy Dean / LiMPETS - Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association

Project collaborators

Ann Wasser / LiMPETS- Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History
Alison Young / California Academy of Sciences
Abby Nickels / LiMPETS - Greater Farallones Association
John Pearse / University of California, Santa Cruz