By Lisa Houle | August 24, 2022
Current and future iNaturalist users unite! Join us for ISCBC’s first annual Wet and Wild BioBlitz, September 17 & 18 happening across British Columbia.
A BioBlitz is an event where people sign up to voluntarily observe and report as many species as possible within a chosen location and time. That’s all it takes to become a ‘community scientist’! This event is all-inclusive, you don’t have to be a professional photographer or a biologist to take part. Just grab your smartphone or camera, head outside and take photos of plants and animals, then share them on the project page. It’s that simple.
Katie Swinwood, Outreach Coordinator for ISCBC, is organizing this BioBlitz to highlight and increase reporting in essential freshwater ecosystems and riparian areas in B.C.
“Freshwater ecosystems interact closely with riparian areas. They are the zones of lush, green, moisture-loving vegetation that surround lakes, streams, wetlands, and rivers. They are critical habitats for native plants and animals, including threatened species. Community science observations in aquatic ecosystems play a vital role in our understanding of native biodiversity and tracking new infestations of invasive species,” said Katie.
“The more people living throughout B.C. involved with reporting and observing invasive species impacting our province the better. We encourage everyone to participate!”
A project page has been created on iNaturalist specifically for this event, to capture observations from project members only. Observations include native and invasive species in aquatic (freshwater and marine) and riparian ecosystems in British Columbia. We have prize packs up for grabs and bragging rights for the top reporter on the 17th and 18th – one of those winners could be you!
To prepare for the BioBlitz, register for our free eLearning courses on Invasives 101 to identify aquatic invasives and learn Observing and Reporting techniques. Be sure to also check out our Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems course launching soon!
Let’s make this even more fun! On September 17 and 18, tag yourself on social media using the hashtag #AquaBlitz2022. While you’re at it, show the rest of BC how it’s done – upload a clip of you reporting and observing on these days, letting us know why you choose to report. You could be featured in our special video that we’ll post after the event. Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Lisa is a Communications and Outreach Coordinator at ISCBC. She values a diverse environment and connecting with others about environmental protection. In her spare time Lisa enjoys spending time at the ocean and beach combing for sea glass. You can reach Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org