Storm Surge Protectors is a UNCW MarineQuest citizen science project, which aims to collect long-term data that will help determine the ecological condition of coastal wetlands in New Hanover county. The project promotes an understanding of coastal wetlands through community engagement and direct assessment of wetland health throughout the year. By providing an opportunity for members to preform fieldwork, the project highlights the connections between a healthy ecosystem, storm resiliency, and community.
In the past year, Storm Surge Protectors has held 8 workshops, connecting with over 100 community members. These workshops provide citizen scientists background information about wetlands and how they protect coastal communities from hazardous storm damage. Additionally, the workshops offer a unique occasion for community members to socialize and engage with each other on a different level, sharing stories and welcoming new individuals. Once background information has been provided, participants relocate to a preselected monitoring site to conduct a wetland assessment and record the data on the projects database.