If you're a regular beach-going type of person with an interest in birds and a desire to contribute to science, you might want to check out the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST).
The program enlists citizens to track the patterns of beached birds. Collected information builds our knowledge of ecosystems and their overall health.
Participants must undergo training, and a small deposit is needed to cover your copy of the field guide and other supplies.
Citizen science is really starting to build steam, and this particular option looks like a great way to make those trips to the beach even better.