Saturday, August 2, 2008

Saturday Observation, by Mustafa

I started day by learning some new words for me, such as intertidal zone, and estuary. Intertidal zone is an area between tide marks upper and lower. We noticed that intertidal zone is less bio-diversified than lower zone. Estuary consists of combining fresh and salty water. Like Boston harbor, fresh water coming from Charles and Mystic Rivers flows into the open ocean.

I learned that most of the waterfront of the harbor is land fill. This means under water life was shaped depending on manmade water front. Before the big harbor cleanup project, the rivers flowing into the ocean was carrying on sewerage with nutrients. These nutrients were causing to reduce the rate of oxygen in the water. Reducing rate of oxygen also was affecting the natural life under the water.

The other thing I’ve learned is sunlight effect on the some costal creatures. We clearly saw this effect by observing a corner. On the east side of the corner, there are green and smaller moss and seaweeds. On the north side of the corner, there are brown and bigger mosses and seaweeds. Also, we noticed wave effect on these creatures. If these creatures are exposing open sea waves, their attaching a wall is more difficult. They most exist in no wave spots. We firstly saw our famous orange thing here.

A while, we also discussed about tree effect on business in the water front. Especially, an owner of an ice cream store complained about the trees blocking appearance of his store!

In the next stop, we observed something remaining from seagulls’ breakfast such as opened mussels and some parts of crabs.

If I did not misunderstand, even if you can build, at least 50 % of the total space must be public. Thus although we can approach a window of a building, we are not allowed to use its stairs! This was strange.

I think our story began with this question. Which place is more bio-diversified inner harbor or outer harbor? I am advocate of inner harbor. I think my side is right but we cannot certainly decide unless we see the outer harbor.

After a couple of stops, we went to the private dock just behind or in front (up to you) of the Barking Crab. We grabbed and took off a bunch of stuff full of lots of creatures. In first sight, we counted mussels, baby mussels, lots of crabs in early stage, a little shrimp like a stick, baby starfishes, brown seaweeds with fungus, sea worms and orange mucous membrane. All of them live together like brothers. I think scientists call that as a symbiotic life style. If financiers saw that, they would call it win win situation.

I saw 4 or 5 big mussels attached each other and they are wrapped up by seaweeds and spread out lots of baby mussels and others. Firstly, we tried to identify what we saw by using the guide. Then we measured their sizes. We thought this mussel must be a blue mussel but this kind of mussels should not be here as far as I remember. Then we stacked with the orange stuff. At that point, two scientists, me and my neighbor, dissent from each us. One of the scientists claimed that this orange mucous is coming from inside of the mussels. The other one claimed that it is a different creature from the mussels. When focusing on the orange stuff, it was posted on the mussels like a layer and there are some kinds of tubes upward in this layer.

We saw lots of baby crabs in early stage. They looked like a herd of grasshoppers. They were constantly moving up and down, back and forth.

All creatures in this colony seemed to us that they are so happy to live together although they are so different from each other. I wish we, human beings, could take a little bit lessons from this picture.

Finally, after learning brief information about the history of the harbor clean up, I noticed some victimized people from Missouri! The Bostonians took the Missourians money to initiate this project. Also you are keeping taking their money to host them! What's a pity for them!

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