After Algae ended, we entered the realm of conservation and policy. We learned about the state of the oceans, which for many of us cast a shadow on the beautiful weather we were having (as abrupt as some of the weather changes were, we did not have hail or sideways rain). We became immersed in the developing ideas that are currently being put into action in order to help protect and repair the damage that has been done to our oceans. In addition to this we also learned about new, more ecologically friendly ways that are currently being debated for producing energy through utilizing wave power.
On Wednesday we had a long, gorgeous hike to learn about the Ten-Mile Creek Restoration Project. Everybody with a camera had gorgeous pictures of the forest. We were given passionately delivered and highly detailed information over the course of the hiking. Everyone we encountered was able to shed light on the state of the creek, the fish using it, and the connectivity that is present between our terrestrial environment, the river/streams, and our ocean.
We had our long-expected meeting with the owner of Local Ocean Seafoods. She gave us a tour of the docks and provided an astonishing amount of information about local fisheries, each of the boats docked, and how her views of commercial fishing have changed over the years. She then took us back to Local Ocean where we had an amazing lunch. Along the way back from the docks, we were greeted and briefly accompanied by a very friendly dog.
On Friday, we presented on current policies that were in effect for many of different areas of marine conservation topics, including but not limited to labeling, hypoxia, fisheries, and aquaculture. The presentations flowed smoothly, especially when the chocolate was brought out. Two groups provided brownies to the class, in order that we appreciate being the top of the food chain (which with brownies close to lunch time, I’m sure we all were).
With the three day weekend following, a lot of people went home, fished, attempted to crab, engaged in sword fighting in the sand pit, and in various other ways relaxed. With this three day weekend behind us, hopefully we are ready to tackle the final stretch of class before our final projects. Onward and forward we go- welcome to Community Ecology!