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MangroveWatch is a citizen science program hosted by Earthwatch Australia and James Cook University. The MangroveWatch citizen science program provides tools, methods and training to assist students and the wider community help scientists gather data on the extent and health of Australia’s mangroves and salt marshes, known collectively as tidal wetlands.

Through citizen science, MangroveWatch scientists hope assist the conservation of tidal wetlands to get much needed help to obtaining qualitative and quantitative data about causes and effects of tidal wetland degradation. The information collected by citizen scientists as part of the MangroveWatch program helps scientists identify areas where tidal wetlands are unhealthy and at risk of loss and identify the cause. change mangrove diversity and biomass. This data will be analysed to formulate ways of protecting mangrove and saltmarsh ecosystems that is provided to coastal managers to help reduce human impacts and design tidal wetland restoration programs.

In this unit students will participate in the MangroveWatch program. The lessons in this unit have been designed to:

  1. Introduce students to the environmental and social value of tidal wetlands
  2. Lead students through the process of planning and conducting scientific surveys of these ecosystems
  3. Support students in analysing and communicating the findings of their surveys 
  4. Engage students in real-world scientific work aimed at improving environmental outcomes for tidal ecosystems.

Cool Australia, MangroveWatch and Earthwatch would like to acknowledge the generous contributions of The Protecting Wetlands for the Future Project in the development of these teaching resources. The Protecting Wetlands for the Future Project is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.