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General Agency Information
Name:Beach COMBERS
Alternate Name(s):Coastal Ocean Mammal and Bird Education and Research Surveys
Address:8272 Moss Landing Rd.
Moss Landing, CA  95039
Driving Directions
Primary Phone:831-771-4422
Days/Hours of Operation/Phone:Check website for details.
Description:Coastal Ocean Mammal and Bird Education and Research Surveys (BeachCOMBERS)has trained volunteers to survey beached marine birds and mammals monthly at selected sections of beaches throughout the Monterey Bay area. The program is a collaborative project between Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML), the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), and other state and research institutions including the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center (MWVCRC), with the specific goal of using deposition of beach cast carcasses as an index of the health of the sanctuary.
Mission:The BeachCOMBERS mission is to: 1)Obtain baseline information on rates of deposition of beachcast birds and mammals; 2)Assess causes of seabird and marine mammal mortality; 3)Assess abundance of tar balls on beaches; 4)Assist resource management agencies in early detection of mortality events, both natural and anthropogenic; 5)Build a network of interacting citizens, scientists, and resource managers; and 6)Disseminate information to the public and educational institutions.
Programs:Trained volunteers identify and quantify all dead birds and mammals on sandy beaches along the Central California coastline, between San Mateo/Santa Cruz County line and Cambria. Beach surveys are conducted monthly at most locations and 1-2 times per month at selected beaches. These data provide a baseline for deposition rates in the MBNMS during all seasons.
Equipment:Volunteers are equipped with backpacks that contain items such as: standardized data sheets on a clipboard, clippers and twine to mark carcasses, oil kits with nitrile gloves for tarball sampling, bags for collection, and GPS units to record location of marine mammal carcasses.
Facilities:Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML), National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center (MWVCRC).
Meetings:Surveys are ongoing, every month of the year. Volunteer coordinators and marine scientists Hannah Nevins and Erica Donnelly-Greenan communicate with volunteers through monthly/weekly email correspondences.
Publications:Above published in Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series ONMS-11-02.
Nevins, H.M., et. al. July 2011. Coastal Ocean Mammal and Bird Education Research Surveys (BeachCOMBERS), 1997-2007: Ten Years of Monitoring Beached Marine Birds and Mammals in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Volunteer Info:Some volunteers are monthly participants while others substitute in as alternates. Those interested in becoming a volunteer need to complete a 1-2 training session that is held once a year (or as funding allows). Potential volunteers can contact Hannah Nevins (
Languages other than English:None
Accommodations for Disabled:None
Public Transportation:Not Available
Eligibility:Anyone over 18
Areas Served:Monterey Bay Area
Physical Location:Moss Landing
Funding Source:Grants
Contact Persons

Hannah Nevins

Subject Headings
Environment Volunteer Opportunities
Environmental Protection and Improvement
Environmental Protection/Advocacy Volunteer Opportunities
Environmental Quality
Marine Biology Research
Marine Conservation
Marine Mammal Protection
This record last modified February 27, 2014

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