General News · 24th July 2021
Hakai Institute - Kelly
Calling all beachcombers, nature-lovers, and community scientists! The Hakai Institute is asking for your help to document the impact of the recent heatwave on intertidal life. With very late morning low tides during the last week of July (especially this weekend, July 24-26), it’s a great time to head down to your local shoreline with a camera or smart phone!
The hottest days of the June heatwave coincided with extremely low tides, causing a huge die-off of countless creatures all along the shores of BC’s south coast. Higher water temperatures are also a concern for sea stars, as it exacerbates sea star wasting. Your photo observations help scientists learn about the impacts of heatwaves on coastal marine life.
While out exploring the shore, keep an eye out for considerable numbers of open mussel or clam shells, empty barnacles, and healthy or diseased sea stars of any species. Simply snap a few photos and share your observations to iNaturalist.ca or to the iNaturalist app at your convenience.
A more focused post-heatwave survey is also in the works; contact Kelly Fretwell at biodiversityhakai.org to get involved. Join our sea star monitoring project page at inaturalist.ca/projects/sea-star-monitoring-in-the-discovery-islands to learn more about the sea star project, see recent observations, and get regular updates.