Park Alert

Ferries to Georges Island are suspended through Tuesday, June 25, due to waterline repairs. Ferries to Spectacle Island and Peddocks Island will operate on the regular summer season schedule.

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Bivalve Quest

New Participatory Science on Spectacle!

Looking for an opportunity to get more involved with the environment and your local natural community? Bivalve Quest is being brought to Spectacle Island starting this fall for you and the public to aid in this important marine animal monitoring effort!

Bivalve Quest is a project by Dr. Carolina Bastidas of MIT Sea Grant, in partnership with the National Parks of Boston and Boston’s City Nature Challenge Steering Committee. Started in 2018 as a survey about oysters, it has since expanded to include all bivalve invertebrates found on the coast of the Boston Harbor. A bivalve is a mollusk whose body is protected within a hinged shell, like oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops. Though many are though of as tasty critters, they are also important to the marine ecosystem as well.

As a citizen scientist participating in the Bivalve Quest, you will be collecting data on the species of bivalves in the Bay, specifically how strong their population is and where they are found. Though it sounds like hard work, don’t be intimidated! You will be provided with materials by the visitors center around low tide to make your small plot and given identifiers for each species. Get your family and children involved! There’s no digging necessary, as you only need to look at shells on the surface, so the little ones can have fun counting and compiling the different shells they find! You can add one plot to your day, as a fun interactive science experience, or spend hours surveying plots down the shoreline. Choose your own marine science adventure!

The work you do here will make a difference in the health of the harbor of the city we call home. There is currently not a plethora of knowledge about bivalve populations around the Boston Harbor, but with water quality improvements and global environmental drivers, there are bound to be changes underway. It’s important now to track the abundance and distribution of these species to help scientists and park managers understand and protect these important little animals. Make a difference in your local environment and participate in Bivalve Quest on your next trip to Spectacle Island!

…Coming to Peddocks Island next spring…

Marina Kovalcin

Biological Science Technician

Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park

 

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