Sunday, August 2, 2009
August 1, 2009, Boston Harbor, 80 degrees, Day time
On our trip around the harbor today we made multiple stops in order to check out the sea life growing right beneath the docks we commonly walk on when strolling through the harbor:
Our first stop was at the dock directly behind the Longwharf Marriot Hotel. Along the rocks surrounding the dock, black and green Rockweed grew on top of the rocks in the tide and above tide. Shells of mussels were also scattered throughout the Rockweed
Only a few feet away from the Rockweed covered stones, there was a floating dock whose half that was under water continually, was covered in orange and green seaweed and kelp. The organisms growing here are always under water and were exposed to sunlight.
Next we stopped on floating private docks. Under the docks, growing on the plastic floaters were brown and green barnacles, orange sponge which could possibly be Red Beard Sponge. They were all in the shade at the time during low tide.
Our final stop for the day was at the docks adjacent to the Barking Crab restaurant. These docks were also floating. Nick, Ryan, and I observed an area in the shade underneath the larger, looming bridge. We found growing on the plastic floaters, what we thought to be Blue Mussels with barnacles growing on top of each. Within the barnacles on top of the Blue Mussels were tiny almost transparent worm-like organisms. We also found Red Beard Sponge. On the sunny side of the dock we found seaweed and more Red Beard Sponge encrusted with Black Speckled Bryozoan as well as Golden Starred Tunicate. We also spotted a pinkish starfish attached to one of the pillars supporting the dock.
Lastly, regarding the different species and amounts of growth from last year to this year's trip to the harbor docks, I believe the difference results from the uprise in rain we have received this summer as well as the cooler, less sunny weather. Also the currents are faster allowing less organisms to stay attached to the floating docks.
- Monique Bellefleur