Monday, 22 March 2010
Ed and Sam help students monitor marine life.
At a sandy beach site – we counted, measured and determined the sex of sand crabs (Emerita analoga) found along our transect.
At rocky intertidal sites, we recorded about twenty types of organisms in quadrats at rocky shore sites. The quadrats are special squares that can be laid over the rocks and all the animals and plants present can be counted and recorded.
One of the species we recorded was this sunburst anemone
Sanctuary managers use this information to help protect the sanctuary. For example, in November of 2007, a large container ship; the Cosco Busan, ran into a bridge support and spilled oil into San Francisco Bay. Some of the oil went out into the sanctuary. Sanctuary staff were able to use the data from LiMPETS to compare the abundance and distribution of species before and after the spill. This helped them know which areas might need the most help to recover from the spill. So the students get to learn some fascinating stuff about marine wildlife and the sanctuary benefits from their studies too.
I really enjoyed helping the students monitoring the beach and finding out about the types of animal that live in the sand and rock pools.
Off to our next destination soon, but Sam is keeping it a secret. I wonder where we will travel too next?
Bye for now Ed