Why oysters?

By Silas Tanner, Nikki Dix, Pam Marcum, & Shannon Dunnigan Long-term monitoring of oyster populations is a big project at the GTM. If you have driven over any of the bridges in northeast Florida at low tide, you know how expansive our oyster reefs are. Here locally we have intertidal oyster reefs, which means that…

Mangroves, maintenance, monitoring, oh my!

By Shannon Dunnigan This was a very productive week for us here at the GTM. We were finally able to make it out to our weather station on Tuesday; our first trip back since before Hurricane Matthew. We arrived to find that our station not only survived the storm, but had no other damages! Phew!…

Through the grass, on the platform

By Shannon Dunnigan “The GTMNERR is biogeographically positioned at an ecotone of two different vegetation habitats…” This past week we conducted our semi-annual emergent vegetation monitoring, or “marsh monitoring” as we typically like to call it. The smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) is seeding and the temperatures have been slowly dropping, which makes for beautiful field conditions…

the mosquitoes were worth it

By Shannon Dunnigan This past month we visited a sister Reserve located in Sapelo Island, Georgia. The Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve (SINERR) was officially designated in December of 1976. With our fantastic hosts, SINERR Research Coordinator Rachel Guy and Education Coordinator Adam Mackinnon, we got the royal treatment and were taken on an adventure…

After the storm…

By Shannon Dunnigan In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, as the pictures and videos flood news networks and social media, we are all patiently [and not so patiently] waiting for our local authorities to provide us the green light to make our way back into our communities and homes. The bridges going to Jacksonville Beach…

More Hurricane Matthew

By Shannon Dunnigan Hurricane Matthew approaches the northeast Florida coast this morning. The storm continues to pass along the eastern Florida coast just offshore. Presently it is within 20 miles offshore of Daytona Beach, Florida. Winds are around 120 mph, pressure 945 mb, and is moving NNW at 14 mph (weather.com). You can check out…

Enter: Hurricane Matthew

By Shannon Dunnigan “The last, and only, Category 4 hurricane to make landfall anywhere in northeast Florida or the Georgia coast was an 1898 hurricane south of St. Simons Island, Georgia.“  Hurricane Matthew has increased to a category 4 hurricane as it makes it’s way by Freeport, Bahamas. Almost all of Florida’s eastern coastal counties have…

batten down the hatches!

By Shannon Dunnigan Today we have been making preparations for Hurricane Matthew which, as of this morning, has been projected to head towards the Florida east coast this Friday. For the second time this year, we have been tying things down in our boat yard and ensuring that all of our equipment is protected for an…

It’s all about the little things

By Shannon Dunnigan “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things“ -Robert Brault, 1985 Today, is about equipment…toys, gear, instruments, really any name you would like to call them. In some cases, they are just instruments we use to measure particular parameters, such as the temperature of…

What is SWMP?

By Shannon Dunnigan For over a decade the GTM Research Reserve has been monitoring seasonal changes in water quality at four stations (Pine Island, San Sebastian, Fort Matanzas, and Pellicer Creek) found within the Tolomato, Matanzas, and Pellicer Creek estuaries as part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve’s (NERRs) System-Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP). The goal…

Welcome to NERRds!

Welcome to NERRds on the Water! This blog is about the estuary. That special place where river meets ocean, where tide meets stream, where Harry met Sally…okay, maybe not that last one. Estuaries are bodies of water where rivers meet the sea. It is within these brackish waters (a mix of fresh water draining from…