New paper on Auk wrecks

2 09 2020

A recent paper entitled TWO UNPRECEDENTED AUK WRECKS IN THE NORTHWEST ATLANTIC IN WINTER 2012/13 is in press in the journal of Marine Ornithology and reports on Auk die-offs in 2012/13.  SEANET data was used in the analysis of this report. Citizen-science programs such as eBird, beached-bird surveys (i.e. SEANET), and, to a limited extent, Christmas Bird Counts contributed to characterizing these events.

Happy Holidays from SEANET

29 11 2019

To all the Seanetters out there…….thank you for your time and dedication to this effort.  In the past year, we have expanded our coverage along North Carolina’s northeastern coast through a series of workshops that welcomed several new Seanetters to the ranks.

SEANET is the largest, coordinated monitoring program of beached birds along the east coast!  Only made possible by Seanetters!seanet-christmas-2016

Wishing you all:  Happiness, Good Health and a festive Holiday season!!

SEANET on Anecdata soars to 7,551 observations!

16 07 2019

SEANET went live on Anecdata in February 2019.  This is a new, online data entry and management portal for Seanetters to upload their beach walk survey data provided by  The SEANET portal can be reached at-


This is the actual image of the SEANET Project Page on Anecdata.

Thanks to the DEDICATION of Seanetters over the years, over 7,000+ observations were uploaded to the SEANET site on Anecdata. These observations include all the data from beach walks that recorded 1 or more beached birds from 2002 to present!!!  Visit the SEANET Project on Anecdata and explore these observations for yourself.   Thanks again to all the Seanetters out there – you are the lifeblood of SEANET!





SEANET workshops coming to you!

29 04 2019

With the recent release of the new SEANET online data portal at: ,we have begun hosting regional training workshops to signup new Seanetters!  Two recent SEANET training workshops were held in Corolla and Kill Devil Hills, NC and several new volunteers have “signed up” to be Seanetters!  SEANET could not exist without the dedication and support of our volunteers. Stay tuned for more SEANET updates on this Blog.  Cheers.seanet-logo


2 04 2019

The Seabird Ecological Assessment Network (SEANET) online data portal is back! 

For the dedicated Seanetters out there that have continued to survey their beaches and have kept copies of the their field data sheets, the online data entry portal is ready to receive your survey data.

Thanks to, a free online citizen science platform developed by the MDI Biological Laboratory‘s Community Lab, the SEANET online data  portal has a new home.

For existing Seanetters,  please visit to create an account, it’s free!

For new volunteers (soon to be Seanetters),  please visit as well to create an account.  Once your Anecdata account is created,  please read the description of the SEANET program on the Anecdata site and then click on the “all required forms HERE” link and fill out the volunteer and beach characteristics forms. Please submit these completed forms to the SEANET program (instructions are on the required forms) to officially become a Seanetter!

Please feel free to share this great news!

All the best,

John Stanton

Interim SEANET Coordinator








SEANET moving forward……

26 07 2017

Dedicated SEANET volunteers have always been the “life-blood” of SEANET! Over the past several months, I have received many emails inquiring about the Data Entry portal for SEANET. Since the Data Entry portal was taken off line SIX MONTHS ago, I have been searching for a replacement site to host the Data Entry portal to store SEANET survey data. Long story short, I have followed several leads, but none have emerged as a solution. However, within the last few weeks, I am glad to report that I discovered a free online database site that may be the answer to the SEANET Data Entry portal needs!  I will send updates out via this Blog and the SEANET Facebook page on the progress to create a new Data Entry portal via this free online database.


For all those dedicated Seanetters out there, THANK YOU for hanging in there and continuing to conduct your beach walks (SEANET surveys).  Please feel free to send me your completed survey data sheets to if you would like me to enter your data once the new Data Entry portal is created.  Or, keep your completed survey data forms in a safe place so that you can entered them into the NEW Data Entry portal in the near future!

Seanetters are a dedicated bunch and will prove once again they are truly the “life-blood” of SEANET!  Thanks!


John Stanton, Interim SEANET Coordinator


Will the “real” SEANET step forward?

9 01 2017

The Seabird Ecological Assessment Network (aka SEANET) was established in the fall of 2002 by the Tufts Center for Conservation Medicine / Wildlife Clinic. The network is comprised largely of volunteers that collect data on seabird mortality, population distribution, ocean contamination, and coastal land use that are stored in a SEANET GIS-based repository. This project sustains a long-term marine and coastal ecosystem health monitoring project using seabirds as sentinels, fostering participation by citizen scientists.


The “other” SEANET sites are:

(1)The Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture Network, or SEANET project is a National Science Foundation funded project to help scientists at the University of Maine explore how different types and scales of aquaculture fit into Maine’s multi-use working waterfront and the river ecosystem. The goal is to build a network of interdisciplinary researchers along the coast of Maine to help advance sustainable ecological aquaculture (SEA) and support marine STEM sciences in Maine’s K-12 curricula.



(2) SeaNet is a teaching tool for undergraduate students at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, CA. This is a guide to common marine invertebrates, seaweeds and fishes likely to be encountered on rocky shoresand kelp forests of Monterey Bay and central California.


(3) SeaNeT at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington is a portal for UNCW students.  This portal provides student access to UNCW information.



Depending on your affiliation, SEANET can mean different things to different people, but for “Seanetters” there is only one SEANET – the Seabird Ecological Assessment Network!



A time to celebrate & best wishes for 2017

15 12 2016

Let us celebrate the effort put forth by all the Seanetters in 2016 and make plans for 2017.   Wishing everyone happy holidays and best wishes for the New Year!


Giving Thanks to SEANET Volunteers

23 11 2016


The effort put forth by SEANET volunteers is tremendous!  In this piece, I wanted to take a few moments to illustrate just what I mean when I say “SEANET volunteers are tremendous!”  The network of SEANET volunteers spread along the entire eastern seaboard are a group of dedicated volunteers that have amassed an incredible source of data on beached birds.  The following statistics are a testimony to my claim that SEANET volunteers are tremendous:


The top six volunteers for the number of beach walks completed combined is over  1,800+ beach walks.



The total number of beached birds found by the top six volunteers totals over 1,500+ beached birds.


The most common beached bird encountered by SEANET volunteers is the Common Eider largely because of a disease (aka Wellfleet Disease) that has been reported from the Northeast.

These graphics tell the story of SEANET volunteers’ contributions to furthering our knowledge of birds in the marine environment. I for one am thankful for SEANET volunteers’ contributions individually and collectively. They are truly TREMENDOUS!



Ever heard the term Marine Debris?

6 10 2016

Many if not all Seabird Ecological Assessment Network (SEANET) volunteers have come across marine debris during their beach walks. Simply put “Marine debris is any man-made, solid material that enters waterways directly through littering or indirectly via rivers, streams and storm drains. Marine debris can be simple items such as a discarded soda can, cigarette butt, or plastic bag that ends up in the ocean potentially harming marine life”. That last part” potentially harming marine life” is central to SEANET’s mission as a citizen science program that brings together interdisciplinary researchers and members of the public in a long-term collaborative effort to identify and mitigate threats to marine birds.

In my continuing attempt to spread the word about SEANET along the eastern seaboard, I was invited to speak about SEANET at a NOAA sponsored workshop on marine debris a few years back. Thus, began my exposure to the MARINE DEBRIS TRACKER program. This program hopes to spread awareness of marine debris, as well as serve as an easy to use and simple tool for marine debris data collection. With Marine Debris Tracker, it just takes a few seconds to  easily report where you find marine debris or litter anywhere in the world… and then prevent it from impacting our oceans.  A mobile app has been developed to promote the Marine Debris Tracker program.

The Marine Debris Tracker Mobile App >>      mdr_logo_fresh_cwithout-border-tws-128x127

“The Mobile App Marine Debris Tracker originated in 2010 from a joint partnership of the NOAA Marine Debris Program and the Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative (SEA-MDI), located within the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia.  The Marine Debris Tracker is currently available for iPhone and Android platforms. It is simple to use! Marine Debris Tracker is designed exactly for beach cleanup data collection. Instead of the paper data card you would normally use to mark items you find, you simply open the app on your phone, choose items from the list as you find them and log them. The list of items you found will be sent to the Marine Debris Tracker once you view and submit your data from that day”.

So what does it take to be a Marine Debris Tracker?

Try to pick a beach location that you can monitor regularly (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly) at the same general time. Then walk the same area (both horizontally and vertically) each time using Marine Debris Tracker to log (and hopefully picking up using gloves and a trash bag) the debris items that you find. You might want to make note of any major storm events or any other noticeable factors (wind, etc.) that might be influencing the debris that day. So, what does this remind you of? SEANET walks on the beach!!

To date, the Marine Debris Tracker program resulted in thousands of people logging and removing over THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLION pieces of litter and debris all over the world!

In closing, I really like the Marine Debris Tracker’s slogan “Leave only waves and footprints behind…” So the next time you hear the term Marine Debris, think Marine Debris Tracker and spread the word!