For a recap of Gateway BioBlitz Events, visit the NPS Gateway BioBlitz Events site.

For additional Sandy Hook information, visit the NPS Gateway Sandy Hook site.

BioBlitz graphic - click to download flyer


The American Littoral Society (ALS), in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), Rutgers University, and the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, organized the first BioBlitz of Sandy Hook from 3pm Friday, September 16th through 3pm Saturday, September 17th 2011. A Bioblitz is part contest, part festival, part educational event, and part scientific endeavor. The concept was developed by world renowned entomologist and champion for biodiversity, Edward O. Wilson. The Sandy Hook Bioblitz created a hands-on opportunity to educate the general public about the biodiversity of species found in this popular coastal area and demonstrated that biodiversity matters in our own back yards and not just in exotic locales. It provided unique opportunities for biologists to collaborate with colleagues and students across many disciplines and for students to work in the field with experts as they gathered important data about coastal biodiversity that can be shared with others.

View of NYC across Jamaica Bay

How will it work?

This event engaged nine teams of scientists, amateur naturalists, and volunteers in a 24-hour race to see how many different species each team can identify on Sandy Hook before the clock runs down. The data provides a snapshot of how many different species are present – or the biodiversity of Sandy Hook. Collected at regular intervals over time, these snapshots provide important clues about changes in biodiversity caused by climate change, sea-level rise, and other human impacts on the unique ecosystem that is Sandy Hook.

While the scientists were out in the field, the American Littoral Society and colleagues presented complementary educational events for the general public. These included a Jr. Bioblitz, Midnight Moth Hunt, seining and more—all designed to whet the appetites of young people for the natural sciences.

Scientists, Amateur Naturalists, Volunteers Needed!

Scientists, amateur naturalists, and volunteers worked together in 4-hour shifts during the bioblitz.

T-shirts, food, a rest area, and plenty of coffee will be provided. For additional information, contact Stevie Thorsen:


Participating Institutions & Organizations



Media Coverage