Saturday May 15, 2021
Today started off with a lecture at city hall about micro plastics in the ocean. The ocean is currently littered with plastic and trash, but some people don’t know that plastic breaks down into tiny microplastic and never goes away. Turtles and other animals mistake these microplastics as food and ingest it, causing digestive problems and other health issues. Evidence suggests that over 120 species have ingested microplastics. We then talked about how other animals are affected by eating an animal that has microplastics in it. It is an unforgiving cycle of an animal eating microplastics, and then a predator eating that animal that has microplastics in it, and accumulating even more plastic causing dangerous and even health issues for these animals. After lecture, we headed over to the station to do a plastic cleanup around the property. We grabbed some buckets and looked around the station to find trash and plastic.
After we put the plastic and glass bottles in recycling, we washed all of our tools and materials that we were done with for the class, and set them out to dry while we headed off to Triton for our last field visit of may term to test out Emily and Kaylie’s senior thesis methods. Emily gave us instructions on how to observe and count fish within and around a boat scar, and then measure length, width and depth of the boat scar. We saw lots of cool fish! Kaylie then instructed the class on how to measure percent cover of Thalassia testudinum and macroalgae within a quadrat both within and beside a boat scar. After we had a lunch break, we headed back to the station to put some of our gear away until we will return in the fall.
The day concluded with a trip to S.S. Wreck Galley grill in Marathon where we celebrated fellow student’s Nick Davis’s birthday, where we exchanged laughs, stories, and thoughts about today’s adventure!
Kaylie ‘23 (Environmental and marine science)