By: Alex Warneke (Cabrillo NM-Centennial Volunteer Ambassador)

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On March 6th, 2016, Cabrillo National Monument was proud to successfully host one of the first National Park Bioblitz events of the year in our rocky intertidal zone. This BioBlitz is part of a larger effort coordinated by the National Park Service (NPS) to celebrate the NPS Centennial. This event and others like it are great opportunities to learn more about the biodiversity of a park and contribute to our greater understanding of the biodiversity of the nation. In addition to obtaining valuable species information from targeted inventories with scientists, this is a tremendous opportunity to engage youth and expose them to hands-on resource stewardship.

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For the Cabrillo Intertidal Bioblitz, the Cabrillo National Resource team was joined by an eager group of 12 observers and collected an astounding 467 observations across 157 different species. Some of the more notable observations included shore birds, numerous species of charismatic sea hares and octopus, and eight juvenile green abalone! Over the past thirty years of intertidal monitoring in the park, Green abalone have had an ephemeral presence at best. The observations of eight in one day is a testament to the collective power of citizen science in shedding light on the biodiversity of these spaces. Thank-you to the committed volunteers and public participants that made this event a huge success.

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Along with our fellow park units, Cabrillo is excited to be a Regional Showcase Park in the Nationwide Bioblitz May 21st and 22nd where we will again call on our local experts and the greater San Diego community to join us in celebrating science, art, and nature. We look forward to gaining a deeper understanding of the species that call Cabrillo home, as well as, inspiring the next generation of stewards to explore and investigate their national parks.