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Old 01-16-2004
teambenthos teambenthos is offline
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biologists looking for assistance

Greetings! We''re a group of marine biologists from the Univ. of CT at Avery Point (you can check us out at http://www.marinesciences.uconn.edu.../whitlatch.html). We''re looking for some help from the boating community, but we''re not entirely sure where to start. I''m posting information below about what we''re doing with hope that people who travel along the eastern seaboard can make suggestions about where to post this information. We would really appreciate any help you can give. We''re trying to get as many people involved as possible!

Here''s the info.:

One of our upcoming research projects is evaluating the importance of recreational boat hulls in the transport of marine hull fouling species along the eastern seaboard. This project is a collaboration between researchers in the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut and the Connecticut Sea Grant College Program.

Although non-native species are observed after they become established in a region, current understanding of how these species are introduced into New England is limited. We plan to determine the current distribution and local abundance of hull fouling species in four regions along the eastern seaboard. We will also monitor survivorship of hull fouling species on boats traveling along the coast to determine the potential of privately owned vessels to transport species from one region to another. Finally, we will examine assumptions made about the usefulness of procedures designed to reduce hull fouling (anti-fouling paints, scraping, etc.).

To conduct this research, we will be relying on voluntary assistance from boat owners along the eastern seaboard. We would like to examine the hulls of 40-50 boats that have over-wintered in the Ft. Lauderdale area. In addition, we are looking for at least 10 boat owners traveling north from Ft. Lauderdale to New England during the spring or summer of 2004 who would be willing to allow us to survey their hull 2-3 days prior to their departure from Ft. Lauderdale (or other southern locales) and again upon arrival at their northern destination. Names and identifying information of vessels and boat owners will be kept anonymous. All surveys will be performed by qualified SCUBA divers. Divers will take underwater photographs of 10 locations on each hull to determine individual species and overall extent of hull fouling. A plastic scraper and suction device (similar to a vacuum cleaner) will also be used to collect samples of organisms for species identification.

A copy of our hull fouling survey form can be found at (http://www.marinesciences.uconn.edu/teamb/home.html). I''m currently redesigning our web page and will be making a few changes to the survey form as well as posting more information about our project. Connecticut Sea Grant has donated copies of an excellent boating safety book (Water Wise by Jerry Dzugan and S. C. Jensen) for anyone who chooses to participate in completing the survey. If you fill out the form before I add a box for your name/address at the bottom (it will specifically state that you should enter your name to receive a copy of the book after I change it), you can either enter your information on question 8 or send a separate email to Sara.Koch@UConn.edu

Thanks for reading through this and feel free to get in touch if you have questions!
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