The BioBlitz is an intensive “snapshot survey” — part contest, part scientific research and part educational opportunity — bringing together biological experts from local scientific institutions, nature clubs, and government wildlife agencies. Every major group of animals and plants will have a team assigned to look for as many species as possible within the time period.
To Raise Public Awareness: A BioBlitz is designed to increase the public’s awareness of the variety of life in their immediate neighborhood and the function these various species provide to improve the quality of their lives. Biodiversity is a term more often associated with tropical habitats, but local habitats may be amazingly diverse, especially if you consider all taxonimic groups! Great Swamp residents may take for granted clean water, fertile soil, and air to breathe. Yet these are all functions of working ecosystems filled with species that perform these tasks.
To Excite Kids About Science: A BioBlitz is an excellent means of exciting children about science. It will generate energy and enthusiasm among scientists and lay people alike. Local schools and their students will have the opportunity to work in the same way that real scientists do to gather information. Interactions with scientists at the BioBlitz Hub will be encouraged. It will be a centralized area equipped with microscopes, computers, and other tools of the trade. This is where identifications will take place, species be recorded and tallied, and discoveries made.
To Generate Data: A BioBlitz generates a list of species found in the park. This information will be shared with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and can be used in aiding them with their refuge management. A BioBlitz may identify species new to the area or determine those that might be monitored or controlled and allow comparison of what species are present now and were present historically.
To Celebrate Diversity: The BioBlitz will celebrate the diversity of life in the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. It is an opportunity for GSWA, the Fish and Wildlife Service, Friends of Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, and the event’s sponsors to to celebrate open space, learning, and hands-on citizen science.