Wading River Marsh!

We have been searching for a while for a site in Eastern Long Island and we have finally found it! We were having trouble finding one that we could get access to, which was actually affected by the tides and not too restricted. We have chosen the Wading River Marsh, which is owned by the Nature Conservancy, because it’s definitely influenced by the tides and is far enough away from our other sites. It is a little restricted with a lot of houses built along the front:

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but I think it’s going to be a great site! The wonderful people at the Nature Conservancy have given us permission to carry out our study at their marsh. They even met with us, showed us around, and gave us some good information about the history of this marsh. They also sent us a map of the locations they own:

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It’s really hard to appreciate the complexity of law until you have to deal with it. I am so impressed by these private organizations that are able to put together so much of this land. They obviously had to go through a considerable amount of separate negotiations to get all of the different parcels. I also find The Brandford Land Trust very impressive in the same way. They own our middle site in Connecticut called Jarvis Creek.

Anyway, it is a lovely marsh with interesting vegetation. Even at low tide, you can see the water at the top of the marsh where it is covered by short spartina alterniflora and salicornia:

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The spartina is the one that looks more like normal grass. To help tease it apart. Here’s a picture of short spartina alterniflora (this is not my picture):

short spartina alterniflora

The Salicornia is the really neat one that has one stalk sticking straight up and it looks kind of round. Here’s a picture of salicornia (this is also not my picture):

Salicornia_virginica

Salicornia is sort of like the opposite of a succulent in that it looks like a succulent, but has adapted to deal with a lot of water. During the fall it turns beautiful colors. I had a picture (from my lab mate Hollie Emery) of it in my hair, but here’s one of them popping up at the beginning of the season:

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I think they’re super cute. Basically Wading River is a really interesting and awesome site. There are some areas that have been calving off (broken off the sides of the creek):

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so I’ll try to watch for that, but I’m really excited to keep working there! We managed to collect all of the cores we needed. Here is one of the holes from the sediment cores:

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Now we are almost done with collecting sediment samples!! The last site will be Barn Island.

(This field day was June 17th)

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