A Day in the Life of the Nissequogue River

Our research was done in an estuary along
the Long Island sound. Estuaries are the most important ecosystems in the world because
of the services they provide in their small areas. Which is they they need to be protected.
They are formed where a freshwater river or stream meets a body of salt water like
the Long Island sound. Here we’re seining the water to capture specimen to gain insight
on the health of the ecosystem. We’re now sorting the specimen by species these fish
range anywhere from juveniles to fully developed adults. One of the species we found is a Stickleback
being held here by Mrs. Marlowe. Sticklebacks use the shallow waters as breeding grounds.
Small fish like this provide food for larger fish without these smaller fish the populations
of the larger fish that drive the fishing industry would decrease taking away many peoples
livelihood. The diversity and abundance of prey fish and sport fish like flounder has
increased in this estuary since 2012 when tidal flow was restored. Since the restoration
we have seen biological diversity increase steadily from year to year. This is John using
a refractometer to measure the salinity of the water. The salinity in estuaries varies
greatly depending on the time of day. Here Turbidity is being measured it is a measurement
of how cloudy the water is. If the water becomes to turbid then the plants on the bottom will
be less productive. Here’s John again measuring the phosphate levels in the estuary. Phosphate
is a limiting resource which controls populations. Phosphate is found in fertilizers an animal
wastes if too much phosphate is present in an ecosystem then Eutrophication may occur.
Soil in estuaries is very high in organic content. Which means it has a very large O-Horizon
in comparison to other soils. Um I’m just here working on my map of the site I think
its coming along pretty well. We just used a core for the sediments. Here Allie and Camryn
are discussing what would be the most effective way to measure the rate at which water is
flowing in the estuary. They placed a floating object in the water and measured its displacement
over a 60 second period. we measured the level of the tide by marking where the water was
in the sand every 60 seconds with a stick. Why do we love estuaries? Estuaries allow
extensive amounts of nutrients to be cycled and provide flood control and nurseries grounds
for all kinds of marine life and as our teacher says they’re a ton of fun to frolic in. But
they are disrupted by many of the activities of humans. We allow run off from our farms
to reach estuaries. The runoff is rich in nitrates and phospahtes 2 of the limiting
reasources in aquatic ecosystems. with the addition of these recourses we see an increase
in respiration which robs fish and other organisms of essential oxygen and causes biological
processes to cease. Which is the definition of eutrophication. Also they exist on the
coast so people would prefer to obliterate them and use the and for commercial real estate
like hotels which is another threat to estuaries. Costanza et al believes they should be protected
from people because of their value, and that is a belief our class has come to share

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