Posted on 05/03/2013 at 08:27 pmViewed 1,613 times
This spring, Herring Gut students and educators have had several victories in the saltwater laboratory. Spring is a time of renewal and growth, both of which we have observed in recent months in our programs growing kelp and lobsters .
After putting lines of juvenile (1" long) kelp in the Herring Gut lobster pound in January with the hope that they would grow out to full size plants, no growth was observed for several weeks, and students in the Adventures Beyond the Classroom high school program counted their losses and moved on. However, a conversation between Herring Gut educator Ann Boover and SeaGrant Extension Officer Sarah Redmond sparked a second look at the so-called "dead" kelp in the pound. Much to the surprise of everyone, the kelp in the pound had exploded with growth and some pieces were over 2 feet long! Students were thrilled to hear that their hard work paid off and that their kelp engineering projects succeeded. They celebrated the good news by learning how to cook kelp and other seaweed dishes with FoodCorps member Genna Chericello. The kelp pad thai, miso soup, and cucumber and arame salad were big hits with students and teachers alike!
Students in the "Lobster Investigations" program are now the proud parents of over 100 larval lobsters! Lobsters began hatching on April 13 and were collected and put into flasks to complete their larval stages. Larval lobsters go through four planktonic stages and start off looking like tiny shrimp. Once they reach Stage 4, affectionately called "Superman stage," they begin to look like tiny lobsters and start zooming around investigating locations to settle on the ocean floor. At the end of the "Lobster Investigations" program, students will release their larval lobsters at Marshall Point Light. We will, however, be keeping a few of the babies to show our visitors!
Make sure you stop by our Open House on June 6th from 4-6 to talk with our students and teachers about their successes growing both kelp and lobsters and visit our laboratories!