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Dispatches from the Field: October 2016

By Susannah Black
October 28, 2016
BOP Reef Construction Manager Katie Mosher-Smith brings us up to date with the highlights of the most recent field work. We’re growing fast, and this Autumn has seen students engage to a greater degree than ever before with work on Governors Island and at other locations throughout the Harbor. Katie’s report focuses on describing the different ways that the Career and Technical Education programs, as well as other student groups, work together to get restoration done.  This truly is a restoration and education project, and this month’s activities illustrate that!
Aquaculture joined in the field at Brooklyn Bridge Park on 10/17 and collected a TON of oyster and predator data with The Nature Conservancy’s Mike McCannPro Divers have been conducting mapping exercises at Bush Terminal Park’s lagoons – when they’re done, this will fill data gaps for ecologists at NYC Parks. The dive team also ran video transects at Jamaica Bay on 10/19; thanks to students, we are able to see what the biggest artificial oyster reefs in NYC look like. The NYC Department of Environmental Protection is eager to see how their ex-toilets are performing!
Marine Systems Tech students took the new cement mixer by a storm and aced Wednesday’s first run of Econcrete discs. Shout-out to MST student Chris who stuck with it for 4.5 hours and led the Harbor Seals through the second run alongside Marine Biology student Nick Ring. It was cool to see MST and Harbor Seals working together in support of Nick’s research project. Great to have this down because Aquaculture will need more of the discs to set with spat come spring so we can pilot them with the Living Breakwater partners in Staten Island.
Vessel Operations brought Marine Bio to sample at the Governors Island reef (we’re really eager to hear what’s hanging out down there with the oysters) and VO students volunteered on their day off to conduct a crew training day for Harbor Corps students last week.
Ocean Engineering is prepping to join us at Tappan Zee Bridge on 11/25 aboard Oyster Restoration Vessel Virginia Maitland Sachs so they can see the gabion cubes that they designed in action, while Hudson River Foundation and University of New Hampshire collect data from the oysters that were recruited on them. Welding will be coming out to Bush Terminal soon to see the Oyster Cabinets that MST designed and to start thinking about upgrades for winter production.
And coming up, 11/11, FriHarbor Corps heads to Bush Terminal Park for a day of diving, monitoring, and sampling! A small crew will do some work at Jamaica Bay as well. Watch this space to hear about what happens!