Snapshot Cal Coast is an annual statewide effort to document California’s coastal biodiversity over two weeks every summer. Snapshot Cal Coast is a community campaign that encourages and provides opportunities for people to make and share observations of plants, animals, and seaweeds along the California coast using the iNaturalist app. We work with partners, many of whom are part of the MPA Collaboative Network, to hold a series of coastal bioblitzes over two weeks every summer.  We focus on intertidal zones in California State Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), but we are interested in data from any coastal influenced habitats along the California Coast, including sandy beaches, bays, wetlands, and docks.  Snapshot Cal Coast is led by the California Academy of Sciences, funded by the California Ocean Protection Council, with support from the MPA Collaborative Network and many, many other partners. Together we are creating a snapshot in time of where species are located along our coast. For 2020, Snapshot Cal Coast will have two parts: Physically distant June 1st – 16th and more traditional November 28th – December 16th.

This summer, due to the Coronavirus, our summer Snapshot Cal Coast will be different than in years past. From June 1st-16th, we will hold a ‘physically distant’ Snapshot Cal Coast. Please only go to beaches on your own or with your families and make observations as long as you are following local laws and respecting beach closures.  The Cal Academy will provide digital and online resources, including species to look for and tips on how to look for different species. We will also provide a list of beaches and places we most need data from! Stay tuned! We are planning to the more traditional Snapshot Cal Coast November 28th-December 16th.

From Del Norte to San Diego and everywhere in between, we work together to build an annual snapshot of biodiversity along the California coast that is useful for scientists at local, regional, and state levels. We are building a community of observers and recorders interested in documenting California coastal biodiversity and answer targeted research questions in support of California Marine Protected Areas. Together, we are gathering the data needed to determine species ranges now against which we can measure and monitor changes in the future.

It’s a snap to participate in Snapshot Cal Coast 2020:

1. Follow all local laws and respect beach closures and physical distancing rules.  

2. Download the iNaturalist app for iPhone or Android

3.  Create an account to start making observations

4. Add your name to this list if you are interested in learning more.

5. Follow the SUMMER Snapshot Cal Coast 2020 project on iNaturalist. 

6. Find a beach the needs data on the Snapshot webpage. Follow all local laws and respect beach closures and physical distancing rules.

7.  Head to the coast on your own or with your family or people you live with between June 1st-16th! Make and share observations of plants and animals you see, especially species on our most-wanted list and in California State Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Check out NOAA’s tide table to find times for low tides near you

8.  Spread the word! Use our hashtag on social media #SnapshotCalCoast

Be sure to check the Snapshot Cal Coast webpage for event updates, resources, and more.