to Dive Into Biodiversity Project
Anne Smrcina, 781-545-8026, ext. 204
Friday a team of divers from the Stellwagen Bank National Marine
Sanctuary, in collaboration with local researchers, will launch
a three-day exploration of the diversity of marine life right
off our coastline, from microscopic zooplankton to giant endangered
voyages form the ocean component of "Biodiversity Days,"
a state-sponsored celebration of natural life on land and in the
water that runs from June 9-11. The Stellwagen Bank National Marine
Sanctuary, a co-sponsor of the event, will be documenting the
species that inhabit the marine waters off the Commonwealths
coast. The sanctuary is an 842-square-mile stretch of ocean at
the mouth of Massachusetts Bay that has been designated as being
of special national significance.
order to protect the living resources of the sanctuary and develop
appropriate educational materials, we first have to know whats
out there," says Anne Smrcina, the sanctuarys education
coordinator. "Our biodiversity dive trips are intended to heighten
awareness among researchers and the public alike on the kinds
of species that inhabit our coastal ocean."
all three "Biodiversity Days" (weather permitting),
the dive team will take still photos and video footage of the
creatures they find, as well as sample selective species. Scientists
from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Marine Biological
Laboratory at Woods Hole, the National Undersea Research Center
at the University of Connecticut at Avery Point, and the National
Marine Fisheries Service will be standing by to identify the samples
and images. Findings will be added to the list of organisms being
compiled at the Sanctuary and at the Massachusetts Executive Office
of Environmental Affairs.
Friday the 9th, United Sates Geological Survey scientists aboard
the NOAA Research Vessel FERREL will complete a week of sediment
characterization studies in and around the Stellwagen Bank Sanctuary
using a variety of sampling and imaging techniques.
footage from the FERREL and the Sanctuary dive teams vessel,
the HAWK, will be available to the media. Reporters are invited
to join an all-day research cruise aboard the HAWK; however, space
is limited. Please contact the sanctuary for more information.
Days are just part of the ongoing research and education in the
Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. A series of research
cruises this summer using the NOAA Ship FERREL and the RV CONNECTICUT
will explore ocean biodiversity to greater depths.
Gerry E. Studds/Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is one
of 12 ocean and coastal areas designated for its special national
significance. Headquarters for the sanctuary is in Scituate, Mass.
The National Marine Sanctuary Program is administered by the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce
through the National Ocean Service.