The National Aquarium’s Conservation team held their first-ever BioBlitz event at Masonville Cove this past Saturday, June 28th!
A BioBlitz is an all-day event where scientists, naturalists, students, teachers, families, and other volunteers work together to find, identify, and record as many living organisms as they can. These events facilitate the collection of vital scientific monitoring data, while giving volunteers the opportunity to become citizen scientists and learn more about their local wildlife.
Our BioBlitz included a team of 100+ experts and volunteers. Together, we recorded over 300 observations, resulting in the identification of over 150 different species! Volunteers and experts recorded observations using iNaturalist, an online platform that organizes and hosts wildlife observations based on geographic location. Scientists use this public data to conduct biodiversity-based research.
The data collected over the weekend at Masonville Cove will become part of the larger Maryland Biodiversity Project. This project aims to better understand urban biodiversity and the biodiversity of the whole state of Maryland!
Funds to support the BioBlitz project were provided by Constellation Energy, the Maryland Port Administration and the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Our Chesapeake Conservation Corps (CCC) volunteer, Jillie Drutz, planned the BioBlitz as her capstone project to round out her wonderful year with the National Aquarium. The CCC program matches volunteers with environmental organizations throughout the region; providing leadership and career training experience for the intern and additional program capacity for the host organization!
Thanks to Jillie and our volunteers for making the Aquarium’s first BioBlitz such a huge success!