Presenter Information

Mary Parks, Colby CollegeFollow

Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 11:00 AM

Project Type

Poster

Description

Maines eelgrass meadows serve as an important habitat for many marine organisms. The sea grass, Zostera marina grows in beds anchored to the marine floor and reaches lengths of up to five feet. The unique structure of the beds provides protection to a large span of marine invertebrates and juvenile fish, prevents erosion by stabilizing sediment layers, and improves water quality by filtering nutrients and sediments. It is also consumed by various marine invertebrate species as a primary food source. However, eelgrass meadows have been subject to significant environmental degradation over the past century due to boat traffic, mooring, docking, and industrial practices. In this study, Geospatial analysis was used to map Eelgrass bed area between the years 1997 and 2010 in eight Maine harbors with high levels of boat traffic and industrial activity. The results indicated a significant decrease in Eelgrass bed area between the years 1997 and 2010. The disappearance of such a pivotal marine habitat serves as a subject of concern for environmentalists and economic concern to the Maine fishing industry.

Faculty Sponsor

Manny Gimond

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Environmental Studies Program

CLAS Field of Study

Interdisciplinary Studies

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

824

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May 1st, 10:00 AM May 1st, 11:00 AM

Maine's Eelgrass Habitat Loss Between 1997 and 2010

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Maines eelgrass meadows serve as an important habitat for many marine organisms. The sea grass, Zostera marina grows in beds anchored to the marine floor and reaches lengths of up to five feet. The unique structure of the beds provides protection to a large span of marine invertebrates and juvenile fish, prevents erosion by stabilizing sediment layers, and improves water quality by filtering nutrients and sediments. It is also consumed by various marine invertebrate species as a primary food source. However, eelgrass meadows have been subject to significant environmental degradation over the past century due to boat traffic, mooring, docking, and industrial practices. In this study, Geospatial analysis was used to map Eelgrass bed area between the years 1997 and 2010 in eight Maine harbors with high levels of boat traffic and industrial activity. The results indicated a significant decrease in Eelgrass bed area between the years 1997 and 2010. The disappearance of such a pivotal marine habitat serves as a subject of concern for environmentalists and economic concern to the Maine fishing industry.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/282