DEC offers a variety of opportunities to participate in marine science research and conservation efforts. Participating in citizen science programs offers hands-on experiences in data collection and research methods, while also providing valuable data to scientists to make informed decisions to better conserve important local marine species.
Learn about some of the projects you can help get involved with below:
Artificial Reef Fishing & Diving Survey
If you’re fishing or diving on one of New York’s artificial reefs, submit a digital survey of your observations. All the information you provide is important supplemental reef monitoring data and helps NYSDEC effectively manage and enhance our artificial reefs.
Atlantic Sturgeon Salvage Program
Report sightings of live or dead sturgeon to help the DEC better understand the occurrence of Atlantic Sturgeon in New York’s waters. Report sturgeon in the Hudson River to 845-256-3073 and in marine waters to 631-444-0444.
Blue Crab Recreational Survey & Tagging Program
Do you fish recreationally for blue crab in New York’s marine district? If so, the DEC would like you to participate in their Volunteer Blue Crab Fishery Survey. Blue crabs are commonly targeted by recreational fishermen in New York, and monitoring catch and effort from the recreational community is vital to properly manage their populations. Also, if you catch a crab with a yellow-wired tag on it, please report it to DEC Blue Crab Tagging Program.
Submit your observations of sharks in the wild to help biologists record their presence in New York State waters and further understand local shark ecology and behavior. If you are fishing, boating, or enjoying the beach and observe a shark, please report your sighting using the DEC Shark Spotter digital survey.
Striped Bass Cooperative Angler
By joining the Striped Bass Cooperative Anglers Program (SBCA), you can take part in an effort to help manage and maintain a healthy striped bass population. Volunteer anglers will record fishing trip information and take scale samples from striped bass to be submitted to DEC. At the end of the season, the data is used to determine the fishing effort and helps to assess the striped bass population in the region.
For more exciting citizen science opportunities, visit Wildlife Monitoring Network Long Island, a one-stop-shop for wildlife monitoring surveys that are conducted for species found throughout Long Island.