Sunday, 5 June 2016

FGCU Week


This week our group spent the week at the Vester Marine Field station. This week was compressed into only four days with a holiday on Monday. During the holiday, a few of us went to explore the local beaches before we started our week of science and adventure. The sea floor was crawling with echinoderms! Various sea stars, urchins, and sand dollars began to move beneath our feet as we wadded in the shallow water. Tuesday we spent the day removing old bags of shells that were put into place in hopes of restoring the declining oyster reefs in the area. Unfortunately, the place we visited was one attempt that didn't quite make it. Although they didn't have many oysters, they were full of cool creatures. Sponges and tunicates covered the surface of the bags, creating unique structures and designs. We even found a few bright red brittle stars crawling amounts the broken shells. The next day we headed out with some equipment into the mangroves. We ended up having to do a coring right in-between the roots of the mangroves in the heart of the small mangrove island. It made for an interesting time trying to maneuver everyone and the equipment through the maze of mangroves. We ended the day with water being poured on top pf my head as we trimmed the metal pipe. Its ok, I needed a shower anyway. We ended the week surveying the shallow sea grass beds. It was sad to see that a lot of the spots we visited didn't have too many sea grasses sprouting. All in all, we had a very great week exploring what the area had to offer and why it is so unique and important.

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