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Invasives Watch |

MIS Resource Center | Citizen's Monitoring Guide

Monitoring Methods and Data Sharing

To develop an understanding of the extent of marine biological invasions in
a region and to become immediately aware of new invaders requires a substantial commitment of time and effort. No single or combined state, regional or federal agency can mount this effort. Therefore, the people who live, work, and play along the coastline are being called upon to become the eyes on the water. Land-based invasive plant programs have successfully involved citizen volunteers in data collection and invasive species eradication for many years. However, involving volunteers in marine biological invasion research and detection is relatively new in comparison.

Therefore, Salem Sound Coastwatch has been developing methods and protocols for monitoring marine invasive species along the New England coast, with the assistance of Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management. A Citizen's Guide to Monitoring Marine Invasive Species was written to provide the information necessary to become a member of a volunteer monitoring team or to initiate a marine invasive species monitoring program for citizen scientists and students, more information than can be included on this web site.

For a monitor’s volunteer time to be well spent, it is critical that the data collected be shared with the appropriate agencies, resource managers, and scientists. Learn more about how data is shared

If you want training to become a MIS monitor on the North Shore, check out Salem Sound Coastwatch's calendar for the next training or email


GOALS OF Monitoring Efforts

Volunteer Monitors
Regional Coordinating Organization

MIS Inventory Method

We conduct surveys of an entire areas (i.e. the whole dock or the entire area covered by cobble on a particular shore)in June, July and August or September. Only the presence of introduced species is recorded.


Floating Dock Method

Volunteers in training to monitor floating docks


Random Quadrat Method - Sampling Rocky Intertidal


Volunteers in training to monitor rocky shoreline at low tide
Become a MIS monitor on the North Shore, check out Salem Sound Coastwatch's calendar for the next training or email


Background: the problem, pathways, and more

Species ID Resources



Additional Web Site Links

Scientific Books and Papers