Zostera marina is a seagrass species, commonly known as eelgrass, that is found on both coasts of the United States, as well as in Europe. Unfortunately, Zostera is disappearing all over the place, including right here in New York. This could have devastating impacts on animals that rely on eelgrass as foraging grounds, or, as is the case with scallops, use it as a refuge from predation. This is its story, as seen through the eyes of an aspiring graduate student...

Monday, November 5, 2007

So a teacher I worked with put this article in the school district newspaper...

Gardiner Manor Students Participate in University Research Project

Gardiner Manor students assisted Marine Biologist John carroll in his quest to solve the mystery of the vanishing Long Island scallop. Inspired by Mrs. Forman's students, who first became involved, Kids for Saving The Earth Club and the Gardiner Manor Service Club members put in tireless hours last year threading green ribbon onto plastic mats. These artificial eelgrass mats were submerged in Hallock Bay (on the notrth shore of Long Island near Orient Point) in hopes that they would attract various aquatic animals and provide a safe habitat for the scallops.

Threading the mats was a tedious job and it took a lot of patience! Mr. Carroll has since reported that small fish such as silverslides and killifish quickly colonized the "eelgrass", along with pipefish, small flounder, sea bass, grass shrimp and numerous species of crabs. Best of all, the scallop population is thriving! Visit John Carroll's website at http://zostera.blogspotcom/ for more of the scientific details.

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