Sunday, August 2, 2009

Assignment #2: Observing Boston Harbor

Hi Everyone! Today was a very informative day and I must say I have already learned quite a bit just on Day 1. In all my years of living in Massachusetts, I must have visited or passed certain areas of the Boston Harbor hundreds of times but not until now do I really appreciate the history, composition and evolution of the harbor.

During our stops at the three main destinations we visited: Rowes Wharf, The Four Points Channel and the Bark & Crab, I made the following key observations: Date: 8/1/09, Time: between 1pm and 4pm, Tide: low, Air Temperature: approximately 83 degrees, Water Temperature: approximately 65 degrees, location: areas of the Boston Harbor, brackish water in the area of The Four Points Channel. At all three locations I observed an encrusted orange substance which after further research, my team (Monique and Ryan) and I were able to determine it to be Golden Star Tunicate. Specifically at the Barking Crab location we encountered a large installation of muscles of various sizes. We also examined an interesting slimy substance, including a section with a surface similar to that of tiger print as well as a minute star fish colony. We determined this to be Black Speckled Bryozoan. Furthermore we noted a leafy lettuce like substance which in fact is called ‘Sea Lettuce’. An interesting common observation which was also made is that all these organisms seemed to only grow or accumulate on the plastic surfaces below the docks and not on wood or metal. Furthermore it appears that we encountered an evasive species in the ‘cheeto’ like barnacles which may have been Northern Rock Barnacles

As to the photo of the dock last year and how it has changed this year, it appears from last year’s photos that there was a wide array of additional organisms which we simply did not see today. This is most likely due to the factors which we have been faced with this year such as the following: high levels of rain, diminished sunshine, decreased salinity, decreased turbidity and bacteria.

Lastly, here’s a photo of our class mascot (the starfish)!

- Nick Pinheiro

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