Some of the keepers here at the park like to get involved in the project and help to run the surveys.
Shoresearch not only helps to increase our overall knowledge and understanding of our local marine environment but also helps to identify and monitor changes that may affect the marine life e.g. climate change, invasive species and local developments.
The surveys are carried out at low tide with the aid of transects and quadrats the diversity, range and quantity of marine ecology identified is recorded down through record sheets, GPS and photographs.
The sites studied provide a range of habitats, including rocky outcrops, shingle and gravel, sand and mudflats as well as some man-made structures.
Volunteers from the local area are encouraged to get involved, as educational outreach is also a key part of the Shoresearch Project.
Equipment and training is provided, with volunteers working in groups led by the Wildlife Trust Marine Officer and Volunteer Coordinator.
This year saw the introduction of new survey methods, advised by the PANACHE (Protected Area Network Across the Channel Ecosystem) project.
This project aims to improve the protection and management of the marine environment through the development of a more coherent approach for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Channel Area.
A total of eleven sites including five on the island were surveyed throughout this season. The island sites were Ryde, St Helens, Freshwater, Colwell Bay and Thorness Bay. Chosen for their diversity not only in species but also habitat, these sites made for some interesting discoveries.
A wide range of species were identified including over 30 species of seaweed and 30 different species of invertebrate.
The data collected from the surveys will be analysed and used to assess the current health and state of the marine ecology and environment.
Comparisons can be made using the information from the surveys from previous years to monitor any changes that may have taken place.
More information on the Shoresearch project can be found on the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust website: