Marine Citizen Science: An Overview Of The Current State In Europe

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Marine Citizen Science is one of the fastest growing citizen science activities in the world, with a significant growth in Europe. Governments, universities and even private companies are tapping into this new way to involve citizens in research. The opportunities for marine citizen science are promising: it can help us improve environmental management, increase ecological knowledge and manage risks – but at the same time there is still no comprehensive overview of the current state.


Marine citizen science is a field of environmental research that relies on the participation of volunteers to collect data and contribute to the understanding of our oceans and coasts. In Europe, there is a growing network of marine citizen science initiatives that are providing new insights into the state of our marine environment.

Citizen science offers a unique opportunity for members of the public to get involved in real scientific research. It also provides scientists with a cost-effective way to collect large amounts of data. European marine citizen science initiatives have been involved in a range of different projects, from monitoring local water quality to tracking the movements of whales and dolphins.

There are many benefits to participating in marine citizen science. Volunteers can learn new skills, make new friends, and feel good about helping to protect our oceans and coasts. Citizen science data can also be used to lobby for improved environmental policies at both national and European levels.

If you’re interested in getting involved in marine citizen science, there are plenty of opportunities available. To find out more, please visit the websites of some of the leading European initiatives listed below.

Leading European Marine Citizen Science Initiatives:

• The Great British Beach Clean (GBBC) –

• The Scottish Coastal Monitoring Programme (SCMP) –

• The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) –

• The Dutch Wadden Sea World Heritage Site –

What is Marine Citizen Science?

Marine citizen science is a form of environmental monitoring and data collection that relies on the participation of members of the public. It is a relatively new field, but one that is growing in popularity as a way to engage people in science and conservation.

There are a number of different ways that marine citizen science can be conducted, but all involve the use of volunteers to collect data or samples from the marine environment. This data can then be used to help inform research and conservation efforts.

There are a number of different marine citizen science initiatives already underway in Europe, with many more planned for the future. These initiatives cover a wide range of topics, from monitoring coastal erosion to tracking the movements of marine animals.

Marine citizen science provides an important source of data that can be used to help understand and protect the marine environment. It also offers a unique opportunity for members of the public to get involved in science and conservation.

Why is Marine Citizen Science important?

Marine citizen science is important because it allows members of the public to participate in collecting data and information about the marine environment. This data and information can be used to help researchers understand the health of the marine environment and identify potential problems. Marine citizen science can also help engage the public in conservation efforts to protect the marine environment.

Who engages in Marine Citizen Science?

Marine Citizen Science (MCS) is a field of environmental research that is growing in popularity in Europe. MCS projects involve the public in data collection and analysis in order to promote scientific literacy and increase engagement with the natural world.

There are many different ways for members of the public to get involved in MCS projects. Some projects may involve going on beach clean-ups, while others may ask people to record sightings of marine wildlife. There are also many online MCS projects, which allow people to contribute from the comfort of their own homes.

Who engages in MCS? The answer is everyone! Marine Citizen Science projects are open to people of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of experience. Whether you’re a seasoned scientist or someone who’s never set foot in a lab, there’s a place for you in MCS.

So why not give it a try? There are plenty of MCS opportunities out there waiting for you to get involved!

Where does Marine Citizen Science take place?

Marine citizen science takes place all over Europe, but there are some hotspots where more activity is happening. The UK, Netherlands, and Belgium are all active in marine citizen science, with a number of projects and initiatives underway. In France, there is also a lot of interest in the topic, with several projects taking place along the coast.

What is being done in the field of Marine Citizen Science in Europe?

There is a lot of variety in what is being done in the field of marine citizen science in Europe. Some projects focus on data collection, such as monitoring water quality or recording sightings of marine animals. Other projects use this data to help inform decision-making around issues such as fisheries management or conservation. There is also a lot of work being done to engage the public with marine science, through events, education programmes, and citizen science festivals.

What are the emerging opportunities and challenges for Marine Citizen Science in Europe?

There are many opportunities for marine citizen science in Europe. One is to monitor and report on the status of coastal and marine ecosystems. This can be done through online platforms such as the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) ‘Coastal and Marine Atlas’ or the ‘Coasts Under Pressure’ initiative. Another opportunity is to participate in data collection and analysis for scientific research projects, such as the ‘Citizen Science Global Initiative’ or the ‘European Marine Observation and Data Network’ (EMODnet).

There are also challenges that need to be addressed. These include ensuring that data collected by citizen scientists is of high quality, making sure that there is sufficient engagement of citizens in marine science, and providing adequate training and support to citizen scientists. There is also a need to ensure that there is coordination between different initiatives, so that duplication of effort is avoided and data can be shared more effectively.

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