Tuesday, June 9, 2015

First Week At Sea Grant

Hello, all! My name is Myrilla Hartkopf and I’m a junior at the University of New Hampshire, studying Environmental Conservation and Sustainability with a concentration in Marine conservation. I’m excited to join UNH Cooperative extension and NH Sea Grant family as the Costal Habitat Restoration intern this summer. I will be working with Alyson Eberhardt and the other intern, Molly McGovern, collaborating active outreach and education for the public to incorporate healthy ecosystems in the local communities.

One project I will be working on this summer is Sand Dune Restoration plan to help rebuild and restore the sand bars along the coast. This project incorporates four towns of Hampton and Seabrook NH, and Salisbury and Newburyport, MA. Sand Dunes are important to the costal ecosystem because they provided a natural buffer from storm events and protect the coastline against flooding and erosion associated with storms. The dunes at these sites have been self-sustaining and highly functioning system but with the rapid development on the coastline have destroyed most of the dunes and what remains are weak patchy areas along the coast. This is where we come in! I will be working with other interns planting beach grass in the dunes to help re-vegetate and resort portions of the dunes associated with storm impacts and public access. With this project I will help with the revegatation program engaging community members and NH Sea Grant’s Costal Research Volunteers to help educate and increase their understanding of the threats to costal sand dune habitats and the role of human actions have on them. With this education, it will encourage a stronger connection between connecting citizens to the natural resource issues. I’ve already got my hands deep in the sand with planting but here is lots more to do and can’t wait for beach field days to start rolling!

Along with the Sand Dune restoration I will also have the opportunity to work on some really interesting projects like eel monitoring in the Oyster River and also working with local Hampton golf course to help develop habitat restoration site plan for imputing a buffer systems for them. So make sure to check out Molly’s Blog for more information about the buffers!

It sure is going to be a busy summer full of exciting new projects but summer spent on the water is something I can’t complain about! Stay tuned for more about my summer as we hit the beaches next week for more planting.

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