Drowning in the COML

 from the COML.org gallery

The Census of Marine Life, started in 2000, is a ten year study that aims to collaboratively and comprehensively survey the oceans to catalogue marine life.  The first census should be released in 2010, and field work for the census is now in its final stages. 

I can only hope that the census in its final form and various products will be far more outreach and education friendly than the current website.  While I realize the census, by its very nature, is a rapidly changing project and that an entire office has fittingly been charged with the synthesis of such an immense amount of data, my head absolutely swims with all the information, maps, photos, updates, and articles located in the COML and Secretariat pages.  If you’re an educator, I think the case studies presented in their outreach page make excellent and intriguing topics for exploration.   

All of this, of course, makes me hopeful for the release of the full census in 2010.  I’m not sure how COML intends to integrate itself into other similar projects (such as the Encyclopedia of Life, the brain child of Dr. E. O. Wilson with which its partnered) but I can certainly get on board with their idea that we must understand what species exist in our oceans in order to better protect and conserve them for the future. 

For now, I suppose I’ll enjoy all the beautiful photos generated by the projects.  Which reminds me, you can contribute photos to both the Marine Photobank project as well as directly to the EOL project via Flickr


2 Responses to “Drowning in the COML”

  1. The old timers always tell you about the declining baseline … but without hard evidence and only anecdotal wave arming, it’s hard to quantify or verify. That makes a census so valuable.