The American Littoral Society was founded by scientists and naturalists who believed in the value of citizen science. Today, we continue that tradition—engaging members of the public in field research to increase the data collected and to connect our volunteers more closely to the natural world. Here are some ways you, your kids and grandkids, your students and your friends can get involved in science that will help the coastal environment:

taggingAmerican Littoral Society Fish Tagging Program
Our 1,000 volunteer anglers tag nearly 25,000 fish per year for the Society. We share this data with scientists at NMFS at Woods Hole, MA, where is it used by scientists throughout the US. Our data are also being used by Dr. Dewayne Fox, at Delaware State University, for a study of sand tiger sharks. We’re also working with Rutgers University to integrate our data into an online geographic information system so taggers and the public will be able to learn more about fish and their behavior. To learn more about this program and how you can tag for us, visit our fish tagging pages or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

spillspottSpillSpotters Network
This spring, the Society launched a new program in New Jersey to create a citizen response and reporting network in case of an oil spill or other severe pollution event. An important part of this program is to involve residents in taking baseline censuses of pre-selected coastal areas that would be vulnerable to such pollution.  We are training teachers, scout leaders, our members, and others to help lead this effort.  To learn how you can get involved  visit our SpillSpotters pages or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Marine biologists from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute need help from citizen scientists to gather data about sightings of jellyfish, red tides, squid, and other unusual marine life. When you are at the beach or in the ocean, you can contribute to a long-term dataset by reporting about the animals you saw or the conditions of the beach. You can also help by reporting when the beach is clean or when there are no jellyfish in the water. You can help even more by submitting a picture of what you saw. Visit

Help marine researchers understand what whales are saying. Listen to recordings of Orcas and Pilot Whales on your computer and help match them to like recordings. This project is sponsored by Scientific American, Zooniverse, and marine scientists from around the world. This is great for ocean lovers who don't live near the ocean. Visit