Salt Marsh Transect Study
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Location: Bluff Point State Park
Marshes are among the most delicate and important habitats in our area. Using energy from the sun, healthy marsh grasses produce nearly ten tons of organic matter per acre per year. These nutrients promote the growth of marine organisms, and marshes are important nursery areas for offshore animals. Many marine waterfowl use the marsh for nesting and breeding. Teams of students will lay transect lines along the marsh and work along them to quantify abundances of animals and vegetation, peat depth, marsh elevation, and water chemistry. At the end, student teams will report back to the larger group, and we’ll discuss what we have learned about the physical and biological structure of the marsh. Includes a discussion of ecosystem services provided by marshes.
Alignment with Next Generation Science Standards
*Additional Resources for Teachers:
Use the following links to learn about salt marsh ecosystems and flora and fauna found in these ecosystems before you explore a salt marsh around your community. After you explore the salt marsh, use the data provided below to create a color me marsh poster.
*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.
Data Analysis Activities
Students can discuss the ecosystem services marshes provide by analyzing the data below. The data will allow students to create a marsh by analyzing the marshes' chemical, physical, and biological characteristics.