Community-led Monitoring

Community Diver Image © COAST

Many CCN member groups are actively involved in the collection of data from their local inshore areas. Their activities and interests are varied – from feeding into Marine Protected Area (MPA) monitoring and creating local citizen science initiatives, to producing underwater films.

CCN are currently partnering in two exciting ongoing initatives to build community-led monitoring and surveying:

Community-led Monitoring

The joint Coastal Communities Network, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) Community-led Monitoring initiative aims to increase community involvement in marine data collection and monitoring by addressing barriers to participation, which were identified together in a 2017 participatory workshop. SNH currently has a dedicated project officer in post to produce a community-led marine monitoring guide and has provided support to several groups for the purchase of underwater survey equipment. FFI and SNH have also facilitated a hands-on demonstration event to trial equipment and methodologies.

MSc Student Projects

In 2019, CCN were invited to take part in the annual SNH/Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) MSc student project system, which enables community groups to be involved in this academic process for the first time. Two community-based research projects subsequently took place in spring 2019, focussing on maerl and seagrass beds. SNH will provide co-funding to cover student costs and input technical project support, with community reps co-supervising the projects.