Principal Investigator: Amy Fowler, George Mason University
Co-Principal Investigator(s): Co-PI’s Full Name, Co-PI’s Institution
Years Funded: 2020-2022
Rapid assessment surveys (RASs) provide unparalleled opportunities both for detecting novel species invasions during the early phases of establishment and for monitoring the spread of previously established invaders. In marine environments, many RASs have focused on marinas, where artificial, hard substrates can serve as habitat for a number of coastal organisms introduced via vessel traffic. To our knowledge, the mid-Atlantic coast has not yet been surveyed using this approach despite the presence of both long-established large seaports and smaller seaports where pleasure boating and recreational fishing are prominent. Marinas in these locations harbor hundreds of floating pontoons creating a permanent sheltered subtidal habitat with substantial surface area. Seawalls, jetties, and piers provide additional hard structure for subtidal and intertidal species.
Here, we propose to sample thirteen marinas from Sandy Hook, NJ to Norfolk, VA over seven days in August 2021 to provide an inventory of algae and invertebrates associated with pontoons and other artificial structures. We will prepare an entire community voucher and preserve all species, some of which may require further identification through genetic analysis or confirmation by global experts.
Photo Credit: Cristina Kennedy