Great Lakes BioBlitz


What is the Great Lake BioBlitz ?

An event that focuses on finding and identifying as many wild, living things as possible in the Canadian province and the U.S. states that have coastline on the Great Lakes during a specified period of time.

Who should participate in the BioBlitz?

Teachers, educators, students, and families.

Why should I participate in the BioBlitz?

It’s a way to record biodiversity, the variety of wild living things found in a given area.


How do I participate?

Simply create a free iNaturalist account and become a member of both your local project and the umbrella project for the Center for Great Lakes Literacy 2021 Great Lakes BioBlitz, then upload your photos (see below for more details). For added fun, participate in the weekly aquatic or terrestrial challenges!


When do I participate?

Starts: Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2021

Ends: Thursday, May 20, 2021


Where do I participate?

The BioBlitz will take place in yards and other outdoor spaces all across Ontario, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.


Want to know more? Keep reading!

Why the Great Lakes BioBlitz? In 2020, in response to requests for activities that get youth and families outdoors, the Center for Great Lakes Literacy launched the Great Lakes wide project, Great Lakes BioBlitz (formerly called the Great Lakes Educators’ BioBlitz). We encourage our communities to use iNaturalist to post photo observations of as many wild, living things in a specific area over a short period of time as possible. Why would we want to encourage our community to do this? Participating in a BioBlitz is a good way to engage in an outdoor activity. It can provide teachers and families with a tool to get outside and engage in making observations and learning about wild living things in the world around them. Teachers, youth, and their families can participate directly in an online community of observers. Participants can make observations for their state project and see how many observations are being made in other states. From a Great Lakes Literacy standpoint, links can be found in Great Lakes Literacy Principle #5. How do I get on to iNaturalist and join in the BioBlitz? Joining is as easy as saying "One-two-three-CHEESE!"

  1. Download the iNaturalist app (or you can access iNaturalist through your computer) and create a free account.

  2. Become a member of the 2021 BioBlitz project for your state/province and the 2021 CGLL Great Lakes BioBlitz umbrella project (see below).

  3. Take photos of wild, living things within the app or upload via your computer.

Other fun things to do as a part of the Great Lakes BioBlitz Watch for weekly challenges to spice up your nature observation activities!


How do I join the umbrella project or my individual state project? To become a member of your local state/province 2021 Great Lakes BioBlitz project and a member of the umbrella project, simply log into your account, navigate to the project you want to join (or use the links provided), and click on the join button. Note: be sure to choose the project for 2021! The links for each local 2021 Great Lakes BioBlitz project and the umbrella project are below. Joining the umbrella project as well as your local project allows you to view the Great Lakes BioBlitz leader board to see how many observations each state is making. Umbrella project 2021 Great Lakes BioBlitz Individual state and province projects 2021 Minnesota BioBlitz 2021 Wisconsin BioBlitz 2021 Michigan BioBlitz 2021 Illinois BioBlitz Need more help?

Are you new to iNaturalist and need more help for yourself or your community? Check out these great tools from iNaturalist General Help Menu/FAQ/What are “Projects”/What counts as an observation/etc Video Tutorials for using iNaturalist Teacher’s guide for using iNaturalist for class projects

Have more questions about iNaturalist or the Great Lakes BioBlitz?

Contact: Marte Kitson at mkitson@d.umn.edu or 218-726-8305. Anne Moser at akmoser@aqua.wisc.edu or 608-556-1492.

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