Last week our watershed ecologist and South Shore Regional Coordinator for MassBays, Sara Grady, participated in a marine invasives rapid assessment survey (RAS) on the New England coast with a team of scientists from around the country. The team visited nine docks from New Bedford, MA to Freeport, ME over the course of three days, spending each evening in a lab at the University of New Hampshire identifying collected animals and algae. This was the 6th RAS, with the first occurring in 2000. The results of the survey and comparisons to previous survey results will be available in a report within the next year. Previous reports can be found on the MassCZM website. The survey was sponsored by multiple National Estuary Programs like MassBays, including the Buzzards Bay NEP, the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, and MassBays itself, along with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and Salem Sound Coastwatch.
Photos (Left to right – click on image for larger view)
1) Preliminary species listing from a New Bedford dock
2) Sara prepared to survey the Mass Maritime dock in Buzzards Bay (PFD required!)
3) A lobster trap encrusted with multiple tunicate and seaweed species
4) A dock sample in the lab with multiple colors of the invasive golden star tunicate, Botryllus schlosseri
5) The head of a native paddleworm as seen through a microscope
6) Scientists busy identifying samples in the Harris lab at UNH