All Photos: NPS

The Mediterranean Coast Network Inventory & Monitoring Program oversees the sand beaches and lagoon monitoring protocol. The protocol is being implemented at the following parks:

Channel Islands National Park
The park has been monitoring the population dynamics of beach and lagoon organisms from algae-laden beach wrack – a rich source of forage for shorebirds – to sand crabs (Emerita analoga and Blepharipoda occidentalis), isopods (Excirolana chiltoni), beachhoppers (Megalorchestia spp.), purple olive snails (Olivella biplicata), and Pismo clams (Tivela stultorum). Specifically, the program looks to detect:

  • Trends in abundance of sand crabs, beach hoppers, olive snails, and Pismo clams
  • Annual reproductive timing and productivity of sand crabs
  • Abundance of beach wrack available to community organisms
  • Physical cycles of the coastal lagoons at Santa Rosa Island

The information collected is used to determine the population health and abundance of these common beach dwellers, as well as contribute to regional assessments of sensitive species. Learn more