STREAM to Sanctuary

(Take 2; student recognition)

Ben Haskell, Deputy Supt, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, and students celebrate a moment of recognition as STREAM to Sanctuary Watershed Stewards. We share some photos this week of their recent presentation at the Sanctuary's headquarters (located in Scituate, MA).

Ammophila breviligulata: "Our study of dune grass (Ammophila breviligulata) is a direct contribution to the purpose of the sanctuary and the well-being of coastal communities. Our efforts to understand and stabilize dune grass populations play a vital role in safeguarding our community against the challenges of storm surges, strong winds, and rising water levels."

Knowing the majority of whales are endangered due to ocean commerce and ship strikes. "A proposed solution is to minimize our consumption of consumer goods and not expect instantaneous delivery, which is something that would have such a small impact on our daily lives but could, together, be a massive contribution towards protecting oceanic ecosystems."

GIS Technology: Geographic Information System (GIS) technology plays a vital role in the research that influences the precautionary measures of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. It allows researchers and conservationists to collect, decipher, and visualize complex spatial data on different species and natural resources within the sanctuary's ecosystem. This technology is used to map the distribution of marine species, migratory routes, and changes in habitat locations over time. It helps identify endangered areas and formulate conservation plans. In that light, our work is very similar.

"Our project is evolving with the integration of drone technology and machine learning, creating a convolutional neural network that can autonomously determine percent coverage. This advancement will reduce human traffic through the dune grass, preserving its health and ecosystem. Our technological development aims to collect more data for making informed conclusions about dune grass, which is vital to our town officials."

The Importance of Our Oceans: "Over the past two summers, I have had the pleasure of participating in the Bacteria Monitoring research team, and this past summer I recently joined the Watershed Quality Monitoring team. Within the Bacteria Monitoring student research group, I sampled and recorded the weekly quantitative number of enterococcus faecalis per one hundred milliliters of oceanic water. The most valuable part of my team research, however, was determining the connection between environmental conditions and high numbers of bacteria. We found that heightened rain led to an increase in the most probable number of bacteria, which could be attributed to a variety of factors. Most importantly, however, was the connection of bacterial numbers to the health of the harbor, and vicariously, the health of the Stellwagen Bank."

Collaboration with schools & interns continues; summer analyses stretch into fall


TGIS Number 47 October 27 2023

STREAM to Sanctuary

(week 2)

Cohasset Center
for Student Coastal Research
40 Parker Ave
Cohasset, Massachusetts 02025
(781) 383-0129
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