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...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Looks like we might be spared...

Here on the East End of Long Island, I was concerned towards the beginning of the week about the impending Hurricane Earl. At that point, it seemed like it might be headed toward us. Of course, I was most concerned with my field experiments, which I can not stop, and then started to think about the overall impacts of hurricanes on the benthos.

From the literature research, it seems as though estuaries are particularly resilient to the impacts of major storms, and in particular, estuaries which frequently experience these issues. Granted, Long Island is not a site of major tropical weather, we do get out fair share of severe weather in the forms of Nor'easters. As a matter of fact, a major nor'easter hit Long Island, New York and New Jersey in March 2010, which brought sustained 60mph winds and gusts up to 73 mph (hurricane force winds are 75mph).

So I started to become less worried. Now I just hope that my experiments can handle any associated surge with the storm, and that all my cages and blocks are still out there next week!

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