The Wrack is our collective logbook on the web. Here you will find hundreds of articles on myriad topics, all tied to these two thousand acres of protected coastal land and the yesteryear cluster than lends them identity.
Why "The Wrack"? In its cycles of ebb and flow, the sea transports a melange of weed, shell, bone, feather, wood, rope, and trash from place to place, then deposits it at the furthest reach of spent surf. This former flotsam is full of interesting stuff for anybody who cares to kneel and take a look. Now and then, the line of wrack reveals a treasure.
Restoring Streams and the Pulse of Tides
Three small projects with outsize impact have been focusing the reserve's attention in this latter half of 2015. Completing these minor feats of engineering will improve the ecology of local watersheds for generations to come. Our science and stewardship team planned for months and years to set up these moments of action on Goff Mill Brook, Branch Brook, and the York River.
The four New England research reserves are putting teachers on the estuary again next summer by offering free workshops that will give educators data-driven climate change activities to bring back to their classes. Each of the four TOTE (Teachers on the Estuary) workshops, one 3- or 4-day session per reserve, will train a dozen educators in reserve-style environmental monitoring, "coastal blue carbon" concepts, and ways to understand and address climate change.
Please note: Dates for 2016 workshops will be selected in December. Applications will be available by the end of January.
To learn more about TOTE workshops, see the articles at wellsreserve.org/tote.
Teachers don't get much exposure to estuarine and watershed concepts during their own education, so it can be daunting for them to develop a curriculum (and locate suitable data sets) around these topics. TOTE workshops show teachers how to access and employ custom curricula and data that already meet Next Generation Science Standards or state education frameworks.
In the fall 2015 issue of Watermark:
- Letting it Flow: Restoring Streams and the Pulse of Tides
- Sea Changes
- St. Nick's Notebook
- Teaching about coastal impacts of climate change
- End of the line (and a Nik – St. Nick conversation)
- Volunteers Recognized 2015
- Draft FY2015 Financial Report
- Coming in 2016
We've processed all the catch from another season of trapping green crabs (Carcinus maenas) and have some preliminary results to report.
Between June and October we caught 6,432 green crabs. This is merely half the number of crabs as last year! In the figure below you can see that the catch was not distributed equally across the three trapping sites. Trends in numbers were similar to those seen last year. Again, the most crabs were caught in the Webhannet River, Wells (3,848) and the least in Broad Cove, Yarmouth (284).
Mentioned Timothy Dubay
In late September, my fellow research assistant, Tim, and I were given the opportunity to take a biplane ride with pilot Dave Trucksess of Atlas Aero. The experience was phenomenal!
As Amelia Earhart once said, “You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky” and boy does this ring true. Tim and myself grew up in southern Maine, are avid beach goers, and have been visiting the Wells Reserve since we were young students. However up in the airplane it was like seeing this whole area for the first time. The views of the nearby beaches, dense wooded areas, and the estuaries were just beautiful.
In an attempt to pass on just some of this beauty, here are some photographs from the adventure. I would highly recommend a trip with pilot Dave if ever given the chance!
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