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Discover Citizen Science on HCMS Yukon 2017

October 1 2017

The HCMS Yukon is a 366 ft long Canadian warship and artificial reef off Mission Beach San Diego. This expedition is to use the Trident OpenROV to collect citizen science data for Ocean Sanctuaries' Yukon Marine Life Survey. The data collected will be added to an iNaturalist project specifically for gathering citizen science data using the Trident.

October 1 2017


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Preparation Stage

The Expedition Dates are being moved to early 2018. This is to ensure that we have the 100 meter tether and can provide a richer experience.

In the meantime we are starting another San Diego Expedition:

"Discover Citizen Science" with the Trident OpenROV, San Diego, CA

The current plan is to take at least one Trident OpenROV out the the Yukon and let interested folks try it out. The current expedition dates are:

  • Sunday October 15th
  • Saturday October 21st
  • Sunday December 10th
  • Saturday December 16th

In the video below (at 00:49), you can see my 26' Shamrock Cuddy. It is the the boat on the right, immediately after the open space. It has a dark blue covering and a nice wide open read deck.

Please let me know if you are interested in any of these dates or if you know anyone who is.

Drone images of marina - Credit David Hershman

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Expedition Background

In 2000, the City of San Diego in collaboration with the San Diego Oceans Foundation (SDOF), purchased, cleaned and sank a 366 foot-long Canadian warship called the HMCS Yukon to create an artificial reef, a task at which has been spectacularly successful.

Sitting at the bottom of the San Diego coast at 100 ft., the Yukon attracts dozens of local marine life species and is becoming a revenue-generating attraction for tourist divers from around the world.

When this project started, both the SDOF and the local scientific community were curious to understand the effects of an artificial reef on local fish populations and surrounding marine life. A joint study was undertaken by SDOF and Dr. Ed Parnell of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and released in 2004.¹ Crucial to the study was data gathered by local citizen science divers to generate a baseline of marine life species on the ship.

Ocean Sanctuaries, San Diego’s first citizen science oriented, ocean non-profit is conducting a follow up study to the pioneering work of Dr. Parnell and colleagues.

Established in 2014, Ocean Sanctuaries encourages and supports citizen science projects which empower local divers to gather marine data under scientific mentorship and to increase our understanding of the oceans and its denizens.

In 2017 Ocean Sanctuaries partnered with iNaturalist to begin a long-term biodiversity study on the HCMS Yukon. We hope that this study along with the original work done by Dr. Parnell will provide valuable data on the long-term viability of artificial reefs such as the HCS Yukon.

In June 2017 citizen scientists participated in the Annual Snapshot Cal Coast Bioblitz. Ocean Sanctuaries had 7 citizen scientists contribute 103 observations of 42 species. This data was also aggregated into the primary Yukon Marine Life Survey (YMLS).

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Exciting Barb! Thanks for sharing and excited to follow along here.

If you want to follow along on FB you can do so on our page: Ocean Sanctuaries' Yukon Marine Life Survey (

This is very exciting, I'll be interested in following all of the developments and I applaud your efforts thus far!