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First Coastal Acidification Monitoring Blitz in the Northeast

Join the first coastal acidification monitoring blitz in the Northeast - Aug 22 and 23, 2019

Shell Day aims to engage water quality monitoring organizations by focusing on coastal acidification measurements during a “blitz” throughout the New England coast on August 22 & 23, 2019. This citizen science collaboration will raise awareness of the opportunities for addressing coastal acidification, while helping to fill important gaps in scientific understanding. 

Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has decreased seawater pH, thus making it more acidic. Along the coasts, acidification has additional local drivers such as freshwater inputs and excess nutrients. More acidified waters make it difficult for marine animals like clams and oysters to build their shells.

To contribute to the understanding of coastal acidification in New England, this is what participating organizations will do

  • On August 22nd more than 50 water quality monitoring groups from Long Island Sound to Downeast Maine will simultaneously collect water samples at low, mid, and high tide to provide a snapshot of seawater conditions affecting shellfish and other coastal resources. Each group will collect a total of five water bottles along a tidal cycle at a minimum of one site, and will measure seawater temperature and salinity when sampling water.
  • On August 23rd groups will transport their water samples to partner laboratories across the region, which will provide an opportunity to engage with researchers in an open house. During the open house, students, volunteers and citizen scientists will hear about coastal acidification research while examining the instrumentation and how samples will be analyzed. 

After analysis of samples and data synthesis, the results will be discussed with the monitoring groups and more broadly though the Northeast Coastal Acidification Network (NECAN). Participating groups are encouraged to share their results and those of the region in their local communities to enhance coastal acidification understanding and discuss local adaptation actions.

Massachusetts groups interested in participating should contact Jennie Rheuban ( or Carolina Bastidas ( by Aug 5th.

More information about Shell Day can be found on the Northeast Coastal Acidification Network (NECAN) website at

» Participating organizations: Reserve your space at the Aug. 23 Open House