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Lobsters and Climate Change

[Note: Underlined text indicates a link that downloads additional content.] 

Students will rotate through stations in which they examine live lobsters, practice skills related to the lobster fishery such as lobster measurement and banding, examine a lobster trap, learn about lobster life cycles, interpret data from CT DEEP and Project Oceanology on climate change and lobster populations in Long Island Sound, and create a graph based on Project Oceanology’s lobster catch dataset.  We’ll end with a discussion of causes and consequences of the lobster die-off in Long Island Sound.

Alignment with Next Generation Science Standards

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Additional Resources for Teachers

These are supplementary activities that can be used before or after Project Oceanology programs, designed to help teachers integrate their Project Oceanology experiences into the curriculum. 

Additional Resources for Teachers: Middle School

  • Video: A Climate Calamity in the Gulf of Maine Part 1: The Lobster Pot Heats Up: This short video shows population decline and species distribution in Southern New England due to climate change. It also shows the impacts of water temperature on lobster distribution and invasive species (O’Chang Studio - 4:13 minutes). 

  • Video: A Climate Calamity In The Gulf Of Maine Part 2: Acid In The Gulf: This video indicates the impact of fossil fuels and climate change on the quality and chemistry of the oceans. It also demonstrates the relationship between carbon and ocean acidification (O’Chang Studio - 4.26 minutes).

  • Video: Species on the move: Impacts of Climate Change: This video shows the impacts of rising water temperatures. It demonstrates changes in the composition of ecological communities due to climate change (Animate your Science TV - 1.28 minutes). 


Additional Resources for Teachers: High School


  • Article: Lobster Abundance in Long Island Sound: This Long Island Sound study indicates the relative abundance of American Lobster (Homarus americanus) in Long Island Sound from 1984 to 2022. The study demonstrates the decrease of lobster abundance during the fall and spring seasons by using  trawl surveys.  

  • Article: Lobsters in Long Island Sound: This CT Sea Grant article discusses lobster mortalities due to outbreaks of disease in Long Island Sound. Researchers identified microorganisms contributing to lobster mortality and are examining the long term impacts on lobsters in Long Island Sound.       

  • Article: Climate and Lobsters: Use this NOAA article to discuss the impact of climate change on lobster populations. The article highlights the impact of rising water temperatures on species distribution in New England.

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