July 13, 2017. By Trevor Burns, NH Sea Grant Doyle Fellow summer intern with the Coastal Research Volunteers. Trevor will be a senior at UNH studying Marine, Estuarine, and Freshwater Biology.
Hello, My name is Trevor Burns, I will be a senior this coming fall at the University of New Hampshire studying Marine, Estuarine and Freshwater Biology. This summer I have the opportunity to work with Alyson Eberhardt and Caitlin Peterson thanks to the Brian E. Doyle Fellowship. Throughout the next couple months I will be taking part in many coastal research and restoration projects. These projects include sand dune restoration, glass eel monitoring, horseshoe crab surveys, and oyster restoration.
During this summer I will be creating a Story Map with ArcGIS to show the work being done by the UNH Coastal Habitat Restoration Team on sand dune restoration. I am very excited to take part in these projects and learn more about the volunteer groups in the area.
On my first day I helped the UNH Coastal Habitat Restoration Team taking part in beachgrass planting on Plum Island in Newburyport, Massachusetts. A field trip of 40 fourth graders from a local elementary school came to help plant in the diminishing sand dune. By the end of the day we planted over 2,000 plants in the dune to improve its resilience to storms.
The following week I worked on two ongoing surveys. I joined the Coastal Research Volunteers with a glass eel research project, in partnership with New Hampshire Fish and Game, to monitor abundance and pigmentation of the eels in the Oyster River in Durham, New Hampshire. Likely due to the cold, wet spring we had, abundance was low this season. I also helped volunteers with an UNH graduate student’s survey on horseshoe crabs in Great Bay. There, I saw a lot of breeding pairs along the shoreline of the Great Bay Discovery Center.
On the Friday of my first full week I helped Alyson and Catlin at Hampton Beach State Park transplanting common dune plants from walking paths in the dune to the Common Garden. These plants were in danger of being destroyed with the upcoming human activity of summer. We carefully took these plants and added them into the Common Garden for them to grow safely. The Common Garden is used to grow native dune plants that can help protect against coastal erosion. Coastal landowners can use this resource by obtaining free plants to transplant into their yards to help protect their property from future damage.
Over the next few weeks I will continue to work on these projects as well as start helping The Nature Conservancy with their oyster restoration project in Great Bay. I look forward to continuing these projects and learning more about the importance of our coastlines. I hope to continue to understand how NH Sea Grant and UNH Cooperative Extension connect to NH’s citizens and how the Coastal Research Volunteers and The Nature Conservancy help protect and sustainably use our natural resources.