Sunday, August 15, 2010

Stellwagen Bank / Final Thoughts

Our whale watching trip was a great experience, since it allowed us to observe an entirely different marine ecosystem from the inter-tidal zones we have been exploring along the coast. Stellwagen bank is unique because of the upwelling current which brings extra plankton-like life into the waters, attracting whales, like the humpbacks, minkes, and fin whale we saw. I was really surprised by the abundance of these large mammals, relatively close to shore. The presence of the two mother and calf pairs was remarkable. By observing these whales so close to our boat, I realized how devastating the whaling industry must have been on these defenseless giants.

I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to a wonderful class. I’ve always been interested in the ocean, and the life within it, and this class only served to deepen my curiosity. Yet, most of all I am happy to have gotten to know the harbor and harbor islands, places which, up until now, I had not appreciated or taken advantage of. Having spent my whole life driving seventy miles down to Cape Cod to go to the beach, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there are pristine, clean, and not crowded beaches right in my backyard. Bruce’s passion is contagious, and the success story of the Boston Harbor cleanup is truly inspirational.

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