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Coastal Topics Catalog: Animals/Insects

research projects
An Assessment of Aquatic Wildlife Utilization Between Created and Natural Tidal Salt Marshes
This study investigates the functions and values of man-made and natural tidal wetlands. It is among the first to use simultaneous sampling techniques to investigate animal use preference between man-made and adjacent natural tidal wetlands.

An Assessment of Wildlife Utilization between a Man-made Marsh, an Adjacent Natural Marsh, and a Nearby Natural Marsh in Virginia
The study investigates the functions and values of man-made and natural tidal wetlands. It is among the first to use simultaneous sampling techniques to investigate animal use presence between man made and adjacent natural tidal wetlands.

Enhancement of Aquaculture Management in Virginia
This project is intended to develop policy and management recommendations for the Virginia General Assembly and VMRC regarding aquaculture in estuarine and coastal waters.

Macroscale Assessment of American Shad Spawning and Nursery Habitat in the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers, Virginia
We hypothesize that underlying relationships exist between macroscale habitat variables,which are measures of longitudinal heterogeneity of a river on a large scale, and the presence or absence of American shad eggs and larvae. We describe these relationships with multivariate statistical analyses and supplement the macroscale assessment with more detailed microscale habitat descriptors for two tributaries of the York River (Mattaponi and Pamunkey rivers).

Oyster Reef Restoration Targeting
This project uses GIS to select sites within Virginia Chesapeake Bay bottom suitable for the construction of oyster reefs. The project supports ongoing Baywide oyster reef restoration activities. Protocols for selection include: suitable substrate composition, public grounds, appropriate salinity, and disease resistant waters. Final products include a series of maps delineating the suitable sites. Products are currently hardcopy only, but a website is planned.

Shad Spawning Habitat in Mattaponi and Pamunkey
A combination of remote sensing and on-site data collection and analyses was used in this study as an effective way to rapidly assess essential fish habitat when data are limited, allowing the linkage of fish population data with habitat evaluations.

Shallow Water Resource Use Conflicts: Clam Aquaculture and Submerged Aquatic Vegetation
This project was designed to assess the potential conflict of subaqueous bottom land use by SAV and hard clam aquaculture in a region of current intensive aquaculture.

Shellfish TMDLs
There were two important goals for this project, including the assembly and compilation of digital data for the Coastal Plain and tidal waters of Virginia, and the categorization of the Division of Shellfish Sanitation (DSS) shellfish growing areas to determine if some are similar enough for water quality models to be effectively transferred from the modeled growing areas to other areas. This report summarizes the data and statistical analyses and discusses the results.

Six Fish and 600,000 Thirsty Folks - A Fishing Moratorium on American Shad Thwarts a Controversial Municipal Reservoir Project in Virginia
A fishing moratorium on American shad thwarts a controversial municipal reservoir project in Virginia

Sturgeon Spawning Habitat on the James and Appomattox Rivers/Side Scan Sonar
This projectís objectives are to conduct bottom mapping of potential Atlantic sturgeon spawning reaches using sidescan sonar to ascertain the presence and location of essential spawning habitat (e.g. gravel beds) in the James and Appomattox rivers. Areas surveyed include the upper reaches of the James River from Shirley Plantation to Richmond; as well as the Appomattox River from the mouth to the Colonial Heights Bridge.

The Use of Thermal Imagery in the Aerial Survey of Panthers (and other animals) in the Florida Panther Wildlife Refuge and the Big Cypress National Preserve
A study using thermal imagery in the use of tracking and surveying Florida panthers is discussed.

science publications
Animals of the Intertidal Sand and Mud Flats
This publication addresses the animals of the sand and mud flats that oftentime go unnoticed. A close examination reveals a myriad of creatures and activities just below the sediment surface.

Evaluating Nearshore Communities as Indicators of Ecosystem Health. Estuarine Indicators Workshop Proceedings, In: Estuarine Indicators
Explains the effects that natural and anthropogenic stressors have on estuarine systems and the underlying causes of these effects, Offers guidelines and recommendations for the development and use of indicators for effective environmental management of estuarine ecosystems, Integrates assessment tools and techniques, scaling and variability, temporal trends for long-term studies, and environmental factors into a holistic approach to the subject.

Improving Siting and Construction Criteria for Oyster Reef Restoration
A publication that investigates oyster reef restoration efforts and ways to increase their success.

Terrapin Files Researchers Survey the Distribution of Threatened Turtles

The Escape Hatch
Biodegradable panels on crab pots.

Use of Fully Biodegradable Panels to Reduce Derelict Pot Threats to Marine Fauna
Properly designed biodegradable panels appear to be a viable solution to mitigate adverse effects of derelict fishing pots.

map products
Historic Oyster Reef Mapping for Virginia Primary Tributaries
Historic bathymetric charts dating back to the 1800s and including major tributaries in Virginia are being digitized using ArcInfo. Bathymetric soundings from the mid to late 1800s suggest that bathymetric highs within the rivers may represent historic oyster reefs. Using the triangular integrated network (TIN) model to develop three dimensional representations of these relief areas, the structures appears to be elongated, elliptical or dome shaped. Bottom sampling from the early 1970s reveal that many of these are associated with shell bottom providing some verification that they were oyster reefs. Today, these reefs are gone from Virginiaís tributaries. This ongoing project to reconstruct the distribution of reefs in history may assist in understanding the demise of these habitats and ensure the success of future restoration efforts. See final report at: http://ccrm.vims.edu/pubs/ReefRestRpt.pdf

in the news
Chesapeake BayWatch with Dr. Kirk Havens
Chesapeake Bay Watch is a continuing program designed to engage the public in issues regarding the living resources and natural history of the Bay. Topics range from current issues to plant and animal species to seasonal changes in the Bay and other topics of general interest.