Tuesday, August 4, 2009

First Assignment

The first day out of the classroom we spent the day studying beautiful Boston Harbor.  We met at the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel with Bruce giving us many years of history in about a half an hour.  Then we boarded a T boat and took a ride around the harbor to quincy.  Bruce identified all of the islands that were visible to us and how the harbor took shape and what has changed.  On the way back Bruce gave us time to just relax and enjoy the beautiful weather, when we got back to dock Bruce let us break for lunch.  After an hour just hanging out and eating lunch we met back at the hotel to begin our afternoon.  We started by simply looking at the dock's and where the tidal lines were the differences in color and organisms and how things change simply by how much light they get throughout the course of the day.  As we walked along Bruce gave us more history as to what changed in the harbor and how it has really become more people friendly to walk along the beautiful harbor walkways.  

We then came along to Rowe's Wharf a luxury apartment complex right on the harbor.  Bruce instructed us to follow him on to the dock and told us we would only have about ten minutes to do our work before security would come and see what the hell 26 people were doing lying on their dock.  We looked under the dock to see what was growing on the plastic boxes under the dock.  So many different colors or reds, oranges, browns, and greens. Horse Mussell shells were everywhere plenty of seaweed, Sea lettuce, finger sponge, and sea potato.

As we continued our walk along the harbor our last stop was the Barking Crab and there we got to spend all the time we needed on the docks in my group it was me, Matt, Mike, and Brian. A very large Starfish was spotted and Bruce tried to grab it but it was to far out of reach but very cool to see.  Also spotted was a golden star tunicate, and sea pork.  The tunicate was a very weird substance and consistency very spongy and dense a very weird species.  Our group started out on a shady piece of dock where there were not as many colors as on the sunnier side of the dock.  There seemed to be more types of species growing on the sunnier side of the dock with more colors going on.  Also compared to last years pictures the salinity of the water seems to have changed.  Probably due to the obnoxious amount of rain we have endured this summer more rain creates more bacteria and nutrients which are good and bad for different species.  More rain also contributes to stronger currents so maybe some species have been washed away or brought in closer the dock, which could potentially contribute to more invasive species popping up.  

The first day was a great day it was very cool to walk along the harbor I have lived in Boston my whole life but really do not spend that much time down there, usually only to go to the Barking Crab for a beer, but it was really beautiful and interesting.  See everyone tomorrow!

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