Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Waiting for the wind to die

The wind has the team office-bound today, but we expect to get out to plant our site off the north shore of Plum Island, LIS on Friday. Today’s forecast called for sustained winds of 20-25knots with gusts in the 40’s! Based on the shuddering sound the greenhouse is making, the weatherman got this one right.

Yesterday we did a little recon monitoring and sediment sample collection at three restoration sites including the north and south sides of Great Gull Island as well as at the Plum Island site (north side or Radiator Beach).

All three sites looked great with the south side of Gull Island still looking amazing (top). The plants here are filling in nicely on their own. We may want to add more plants further down the shore to enlarge the meadow, but we can also just sit back and let nature take its course. I think we will probably speed up the process by adding more plants to the east.

The north side of Gull Island (above), the newest of our plantings, is still looking very good. It is too early to know whether or not these plants will fair as well as their south-side neighbors, but I think they will do fine. The fact that this site is exposed to NW winds means that it will take more pounding, however. Because of this, I do expect to experience greater losses here, but once the plants are firmly established, they should do fine.

As a follow up to our September 22nd visit, the Plum Island test plants (above) still look very good. I don’t think we have lost any shoots recently; everything looked as it did on the 22nd. Based on this success, we are expanding our work here out into deeper water. Yesterday’s observations indicated that the 17’ plantings still look the best so we will definitely plant out to 20 or 22 feet when we get back on the water this Friday.