We're excited to be participating in the Gulf of Maine Coastal Ecosystem Survey, a project over two years in the making. Starting from workshops held as part of the Gulf of Maine Integrated Ecosystem Research Program, it became clear that there was a need to gain a better understanding of ecosystem dynamics within the coastal waters of the Gulf of Maine.
The Survey team realized that many of the species they were interested in were also of great ecosystem management concern. They put together a proposal and submitted it to the State Wildlife Grant Competitive Grant program.
The team received funding to carry out integrated, ecosystem surveys in July 2014, February 2015, July 2015, and February 2016 to map the distribution and abundance of key marine birds, mammals, fish, and plankton communities.
Their final step will include mapping biological hotspots within the coastal waters of the Gulf of Maine. That's where the FlowCam comes in.
Our own Harry Nelson is part of the on-board crew. He's helping the team use the FlowCam to capture microscopic images from the survey hotspots. After adding a water sample to the funnel, the instrument creates a collage of saved images.
Here is a FlowCam collage of particles observed at the foraging flock location.
Here is the FlowCam running a sample collected 4.5 miles SW of Vinalhaven Island, Maine.
Read the full story on the The Gulf of Maine Coastal Ecosystem Survey blog. Check in regularly to get updates about the exciting and interesting findings and observations from the team's at-sea surveys.