Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program

The Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program

MMP LogoThe Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program is a bi-national, long-term monitoring program that coordinates the skills and dedication of hundreds of volunteer Citizen Scientists throughout the Great Lakes basin of Ontario and the United States. It is coordinated by Bird Studies Canada. OWA is a local organizer for recruitment, training and support. Bird Studies Canada, with support from the U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Environment Canada, are working to expand the Marsh Monitoring Program in Ohio.

The program is designed to collect information about the presence and abundance of bird and amphibian species in Great Lakes coastal and inland marshes, to contribute to our understanding of these species and their habitat needs. MMP volunteers have a unique and rewarding opportunity to support the study and conservation of some of North America’s most important – and threatened – ecosystems.

  • We are seeking wetland enthusiasts to be trained to monitor amphibians and/or marsh birds (prior experience not necessary) and who are willing to spend about 10 hours per year as a volunteer surveyor of a local wetland.
  • We will teach you the techniques used in the nationally-recognized Marsh Monitoring Program.
  • The training session is free and will be hosted by the Ohio Wetlands Association.
  • There is no charge for support materials. Data forms, training guides and training CD’s are provided to all volunteers.

Each year OWA  organizes a training session for new recruits or existing volunteers who want a refresher. This will usually be in March shortly before the monitoring season begins.  If your group would like to host a MMP training and can register 10 or more new volunteers, OWA can provide training for you. Please contact us at

Marsh Havens is a 16 page brochure that describes the MMP. It is downloadable as a PDF here MMP Marsh Havens.

Read the Marsh Monitoring Report with results of  1995-2012 Programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following sample recordings are from the MMP Training files.

Pied-billed Grebe  (PBGR)


Least Bittern  (LIBI)




Virginia Rail  (VIRA)


Coot & Moorehen  (MOOT if indistinguishable from Coot)


For frog calls, an excellent orientation is provided by the USGS Frog Quiz which gives you a variety of audio files to learn from and a quiz that test your ear with mixed calls from actual habitats.


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