New this summer is the Nekton Sampling project, led by intern Christian Hudanich. The project was designed to allow students to explore the harbor and follow their interests. The first two meetings of the project emphasized observation. The students walked around Mariners Park (the area around CSCR) to examine the harbor from shore, before getting into kayaks and heading out on the water for a different point of view. As they paddled around the edges of the harbor, students were instructed to simply look around and note any evidence that the ecosystem was dead or dieing, or alive and thriving. Though they had all spent lots of time around the harbor, they were asked to see the harbor’s features with fresh eyes.
After examining a minnow trap they found near the CMI boathouse, the students decided to conduct their own study of minnows in the harbor. Since then, they have set traps in various locations around the harbor, including in the channel, at the entrance to James Brook, the Gulf River mouth, the marina next door at the marsh edge, and in the marsh further up Bailey’s Creek.
Here’s what they have to say about what they’ve found so far:
We’re finding that different parts of the harbor, especially the more remote marsh areas, have the biggest minnows.Cian Casey
We’re finding that the harbor is alive and thriving, for the most part.Michael Cunning
The most surprising finds have included eels and what we think might be a sea robin.Sam Ellinger and Ty Rudnick
The shrimp are pretty cool, too. We find some shrimp and lots of green crabs.Oliver Axon