The SARCE network was established in 2010 in order to continue the legacy of the Census of Marine Life – NaGISA project in South America. NaGISA conducted a large scale survey of the nearshore using a standardized protocol having inventoried nearly 4000 species and providing more than 60,000 diversity and distribution records to the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). NaGISA also built a network of nearshore researchers in 28 countries and included community members, students, and citizen scientists. NaGISA sampling revealed new large scale patterns in nearshore diversity for many taxa/community types, some of which challenged the existing paradigms on latitudinal marine biodiversity patterns, at least for the nearshore.

Chronology of activities:

April 2010: SARCE is established in the 1st SARCE Workshop held in Caracas, Venezuela. Standardized protocol is designed.

June 2011: Project approval by TOTAL Foundation – Marine diversity and biomass assessments on coastal ecosystems in South America: Ecosystem function, monitoring, and human impacts.

2011: First field campaign. Sampling in 110 sites in 49 localities and 8 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela). Building of the database.

2011: Education and outreach activities in Venezuela: teaching of the SARCE protocol in public schools in several coastal states.

January-March 2012:Database review

a) Abundance of mobile organisms

b) Biomass of mobile organisms

c) Cover of sessile organisms

d) Biomass of sessile organisms

e) Presence/Absence of species (mobile + sessile organisms)

f) Biomass

May 2012: 2nd SARCE Workshop (Data analysis) held at Isla de Margarita, Venezuela

September 2012: 3rd SARCE Workshop held at Sao Sebastiao, Brazil

October 27-28, 2012: SARCE Training Workshop held at BioELITE, Guayaquil, Ecuador.

2012-2013: Education and outreach activities in Argentina: teaching of coastal marine biodiversity, ecology, climate change, and human impacts within the SARCE framework.

2013: Second field campaign. Sampling in 129 sites in 59 localities and 9 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela).

April 2013: Call for SARCE Internships

October 2013: Planned 4th SARCE Workshop to be held at Buenos Aires, Argentina