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, September 20, 2010

I am famous!

Well, not really, but I can dream right?

There as an article in the latest issue of the Suffolk Times ( a local east end newspaper) about hard clams in Hallock Bay.

Now, the basic summary of the article is that a group of local baymen had raised some money to plant seed hard clams in Hallock Bay, NY. If you have followed my blog at all, then the name Hallock Bay should sound familiar to you - its the location of one of my dissertation projects and a place I spend a lot of time in the water (and here, and here). Anyway, back to the article. The baymen released 85,000 8-month old notata clams - about the size of a thumbnail - into a portion of Hallock Bay. They selected a bottom with considerable cobble as their planting area in the hopes that the structure will protect the juveniles from their predators like whelks and crabs.

First, it is exciting to hear about local baymen - commercial fishermen who often get a bad rap when it comes to preserving marine species - trying to do something to help the bay. Some of the original scallop restoration efforts were started by baymen. But the most interesting and exciting part of this article for me was the 8th paragraph:
"The fishermen agreed that Hallocks Bay is a good spot for clamming, but they pointed to a broad swath of coastline, opposite the grounds they were seeding, that has been closed for two years -- not because of poor water quality but because of a study Stony Brook University students are doing to see if they can simulate eelgrass bed habitats with synthetic eelgrass."

That's me! While the project isn't exactly described right, and I am not mentioned by name, it is still quite exciting to see my work in the paper, regardless of how small or anonymous.

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