A Good Step in the Right Direction

Written by Riley Seaborn

Hello! As you may know already, I am Riley Seaborn, a rising sophomore at CHS, and today the eelgrass team has really started making headway in the eelgrass tank project! The tank project is essentially about collecting samples of eelgrass to put in tanks. Therefore, granting us a greater ability to study eelgrass within the confines of our building. Today the girls, Audrey Jones, Riley Seaborn, Malone Yemini and Caelinn Achille traveled out to the ocean and practiced methods of harvesting eelgrass for said tank project. The method we practiced is what we called the chain method. The chain method consists of tying different colored zip ties onto chain links within a small chain. These zip ties served as markers to experiment with how much we can cut the sediment around the plant in one breath. First, we dropped the quadrat with a go pro inside into the water. The first problem encountered was the excessive amount of seaweed living along the ocean floor. Because of this, the go pro was blocked with seaweed in front of it and could barely catch anything! Another problem we encountered was the ocean waves. The ocean waves constantly moved the quadrat around and disrupted the recording of the ocean ground. The second thing we did was give the chain to a diver and try to place the chain in a circle inside the quadrat. Because of the second problem we encountered, we lost the chain and this took a while to retrieve causing a setback. Once we got the chain situated again, the diver was handed a knife to cut around the chain circle and report to people on board how deep and how much they were able to cut using the markers on the chain. The diver was able to cut halfway around which was great news. But alas, the chain was lost again after the diver dove down to cut the sediment the rest of the way around. The rest of the time was spent looking for the chain. However, there was no luck and the chain was lost to the depths of the ocean. While heading back on the boat, the group discussed how to improve the chain method. The main idea we came up with was using a tool we call “the javelin” which is essentially an orange stake that is used to stick into the ground. The idea was to stick the javelin inside one of the chain links of the chain to both serve as a more visible marker for where the chain is and to keep the chain in place. The eelgrass group is still brainstorming methods to harvest the eelgrass but today was a good step in the right direction to harvesting actual eelgrass. Do you have any ideas or questions? Be sure to talk to us! It would be helpful to our team and could expose us to new things to consider!

Above: Hermit crab seen from quadrat on ocean floor

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