Sustainable Seas Student Intertidal Monitoring Project at Duxbury Reef in Bolinas, CA

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Alina Rainsford1, Kathy Soave2, Frankie Gerraty1, Gaby Jung1, Maddy Quirke-Shattuck2, Julia Kudler1, Jane Hatfield1, Melea Emunah1 and Amy Dean3, (1)Branson School, Ross, CA, United States, (2)The Branson School, Ross, CA, United States, (3)Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association, San Francisco, CA, United States
The Sustainable Seas Student Monitoring Project at the Branson School in Ross, CA has monitored Duxbury Reef in Bolinas, CA since 1999, in cooperation with the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association and the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Goals of this student-run project include: 1) To monitor the rocky intertidal habitat and develop a baseline database of invertebrates and algal density and abundance; 2) To contribute to the conservation of the rocky intertidal habitat through education of students and visitors about intertidal species; 3) To increase stewardship in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary; and 4) To contribute abundance and population data on key algae and invertebrate species to the national database, LiMPETS (Long Term Monitoring Program & Experiential Training for Students). Each fall student volunteers complete an intensive training course on the natural history of intertidal invertebrates and algae, identification of key species, rocky intertidal monitoring techniques, and history of the sanctuary. Students identify and count key invertebrate and algae species along two permanent transects and, using randomly determined points, within two permanent 200 m2 areas, in fall, winter, and late spring. Using data from the previous years, we will compare population densities, seasonal abundance and long-term population trends of key algal and invertebrate species, including Tegula funebralis, Anthopluera elegantissima, Cladophora sp. and Fucus sp.. Future analyses and investigations will include intertidal abiotic factors (including water temperature, pH and human foot-traffic) to enhance insights into the Duxbury Reef ecosystem, in particular, the high and mid-intertidal zones experiencing the greatest amount of human impacts.