Naturalists, Charge Your Smartphones: It’s a BioBlitz!

Mar. 15, 2016 — This April and May, Heal the Bay invites you to play an active role in the documentation and preservation of the diverse flora and fauna that call our wetlands home during our “Blitz the Bay” events.

Ready…set…BioBlitz! On April 30 and May 14, Heal the Bay will host two “Blitz the Bay” BioBlitz events where we’ll descend on Malibu Lagoon State Beach and Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve en masse to record our observations of local plants, animals, and fungi. Why? Because these two habitats are among the few remaining wetlands in Southern California, and data collected by citizen-scientists illustrate how these delicate ecoystems are recovering–and can help improve their odds of survival.

Malibu Lagoon is highly altered from its original state, and underwent a substantial restoration from 2012-2013 to help reestablish a healthy, functioning ecosystem. Join us on April 30 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., for a BioBlitz at Malibu Lagoon to record the biodiversity of this newly restored wetland habitat. We’ll have experts on hand to help you explore the tidepools, birdwatch, and learn about the plants and animals of our coastal wetlands.

The story of Malibu Lagoon is one of hope, but that does not mean our fight to protect L.A.’s coastal habitat is finished. The Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve near Playa Del Rey suffers from the effects of a century of rapid urban growth in the surrounding area. Four restoration alternatives to create a thriving coastal ecosystem in the Ballona wetlands are currently under review. Join us on May 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for our BioBlitz at Ballona Wetlands, where we’ll record the diverse plants and animals that call the wetlands home. This BioBlitz is your opportunity to learn about restoration science and showcase the important flora and fauna that inhabit Ballona. It’s also an opportunity to get outside, get your hands dirty, and explore the wetland wilderness in L.A.’s backyard!

Can’t make it to any of our BioBlitz events? You can still contribute to the growing catalogue of plants and animals in L.A. by “Blitzing the Bay” in your own community. All you need to do is step outside, fire up your iNaturalist app, and start filing your observations into our “Healthy Watersheds” project in iNaturalist. (Open this PDF for more information on how to use iNaturalist.)

Share the results of your BioBlitzing by tagging @HealtheBay in your photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Be sure to use the hashtag #BlitztheBay.

Questions? Want to get more involved? Email us at

BioBlitz citizen scientists. Image courtesy of iNaturalist.

BioBlitzers in action! Image courtesy of iNaturalist.