Help us understand the impacts of invasive snails on native oysters in Richardson Bay



Start Date


End Date



One-time only


Richardson Bay Audubon Center
376 Greenwood Beach Rd
United States


Invasive Atlantic oyster drill snails are hurting the recovery of wild Olympia oysters, the only native oyster on the West Coast. Olympia oysters used to be abundant in San Francisco Bay, but human impacts have threatened their population here. Researchers from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center are working with citizen scientists (that's you!) on a field experiment to control oyster drill snail populations in Richardson Bay. We need your help! We did some work in the spring that led to new ideas for new experiments and we'd love to have you join us! We'll be doing some work to better understand which kinds of prey the snails prefer (we know that they like oysters, but we also know that they eat other things like barnacles and mussels, we just don't know which they like best), and if having oysters in different parts of the beach (like up closer to the high tide line) can help keep oysters from becoming snail snacks!

There are two major activities that we need help with. We'll be doing some lab work on the campus of the Estuary and Ocean Science Center in Tiburon. This work will involve gluing oysters onto tiles and building cages that will be used to keep the invasive snails out during the experiment. We'll also need people to help out in the field when we are setting the experiment up. We'll need help later in the summer to go collect the tiles and bring them back to the lab, but we don't have dates for that yet. For the experimental set up, we have to work with the tides, so it will be a really early morning!

Volunteers ages 12+ welcome. Younger volunteers accepted on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Alison Cawood ( if you have questions. All volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a participating adult.


  • Training Provided


  • Families

How To Apply

Contact Alison Cawood (, 443-482-2271) for more information.