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Invasives Watch | MIS Resource Center | Citizen's Monitoring Guide

Coastal Habitat Invasives Monitoring Program

Introduced or “marine biological invaders” often have a profound, adverse affect on marine ecosystems. Along the coast of Massachusetts and around the world, scientists have witnessed these invasions and their affects. When introduced species become invasive, physical conditions and habitats of native species are altered in a variety of negative ways.


Palaemon macrodactylus Palaemon macrodactylus
(Oriental Shrimp)

First sighting in Salem Harbor and the Danvers River at McCabe Marina on
July 11, 2014 during a rapid assessment survey for Palaemon shrimp in the Northeast conducted by Niels Hobbs, former Salem Sound Coastwatch employee, and interns from the Mystic Seaport Maritime Studies Program working under Dr. James Carlton.



Palaemon elegans (European rock shrimp) below - first seen in 2010 in Salem Sound and Gloucester - note: blue claws.

Palaemon elegans


We train volunteers to be the eyes on the water! Call 978-741-7900 or email us if you want to participate in our summer dock and intertidal rocky shore monitoring. We are collecting information about the current locations, abundance, and characteristics of non-native and native species along our shore.



SSCW has developed an online Monitoring Resource Center to help our volunteers and others who are interested in learning more about this subject. The site includes links to background information on the pathways of introduction and monitoring methods explained in the SSCW's A Citizen's Guide to Monitoring Marine Invasive Species. This manual was created by Salem Sound Coastwatch to provide the information to enable volunteers to become monitors or volunteer coordinators to initiate a marine invasive species monitoring program. We hope you will become involved in collecting data on marine biological invaders in our program or start one in your area.


SETL Project: In December 2007, we joined the international effort to detect and quantify fouling marine organisms by placing settlement plates at the Beverly Harbor Pier. Salem State University under Ted Maney has observing plates in Salem Harbor since 2008. Every three months, the plates are pulled and examined for fouling organisms that have colonized the plates, then scraped and returned to the water. We thank Cell Signaling Technology for providing funds to purchase the materials for the initial deployment.

Learn more about this project: