WWF-Poland's Blue Patrol volunteers monitor the Baltic Coast
Our volunteers are monitoring the whole coastline of Poland. They are looking for Baltic mammals – especially the grey seal and harbor porpoise and rare species of marine birds such as the ringed plover, common tern, sandwich tern, little tern and oystercatcher. Every week the volunteers patrol their sectors of the coast. During the past four years of Blue Patrol activity our volunteers have covered almost 100 000 km, which means that they traveled around the Earth's equator almost three times.
In addition to monitoring activities, Blue Patrol volunteers act when their help is needed. Our local leaders receive information about the animals found by our volunteers which need emergency treatment via telephone. Most of the cases concern grey seals. Whenever we get such information, someone from the Blue Patrol goes to the beach to check the situation and take appropriate action. There are three likely scenarios:
- When our volunteers are watching a healthy animal on the beach they try to ensure appropriate conditions for the individual, e.g. rest undisturbed by tourists and other people on the beach.
- When an animal is sick or in bad shape and needs help, our volunteers stay with the animal until veterinary attention arrives from the Hel Marine Station. In most of these cases, the animals need to be taken to the Hel Marine Station for treatment.
- Unfortunately, very often our volunteers spot dead animals. In such cases they take blubber samples for further genetic research.
The data from all observations are regularly entered into the database, which is a comprehensive source of information on the occurrence of Baltic mammals. Our volunteers regularly participate in trainings and workshops to improve their knowledge about marine mammals and birds.
Blue Patrol received honorable mention in the "Active in the City" contest, in the category "Voluntary Initiative 2010" for superlative creativity in building social capital. The activities of the Patrol were recognized also in a national competition - "The Colors of Volunteering". Blue Patrol received a diploma "as an expression of a particular attitude of sensitivity, understanding and willingness to help." In May 2011, Konrad Wrzecionkowski, one of our volunteers, was awarded by the readers of a big national newspaper for his voluntary work. The readers decided that Konrad must be honored for his consistency in action and eco-friendly attitude.
If you are interested in learning more about Blue Patrol please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org