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2014 Mouth of the Columbia River Deep Water Site and Shallow Water Site Monitoring Series, Part 3 of 4: Epifaunal Trawls

Part 3 of our Oregon adventure series describes the epifaunal trawl sampling efforts that were part of the June and October surveys.  During the two surveys, the team conducted four 10‑minute trawl tows at each of three drop zones inside the DWS for a total of 12 trawl tows.

The objective of the study is to characterize the epifaunal community (both invertebrates and fishes) at drop zones within the DWS, including a comparison of taxonomic richness and diversity between zones and with previous monitoring survey results. 

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Getting ready to deploy the trawl.


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Deploying the trawl.


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Sorting the catch.


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A Pacific sanddab (Citharichthys sordidus) from a trawl catch. Some of the scales have rubbed off. Note the orange-yellow spots.


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Egg capsule of the big skate (Raja binoculata) from the trawl catch. This one measured 256 mm, which is rather large for skates in general but is only average size for the aptly-named big skate.


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This spotted ratfish (Hydrolagus collier) and smelt (Osmeridae) from a trawl catch were measured and released.


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A staghorn sculpin (Leptocottus armatus) being measured.


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Boney fishes were measured as standard length (from tip of nose to end of vertebral column).


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A scallop shell was part of a trawl catch.


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A small octupus was caught during trawling. It was recorded and released.


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This large sea anemone retracted its tentacles following capture in a trawl.

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NOAA Ocean Exploration Team to Begin the 2014 Expedition

NOAA Ocean Exploration Team to Begin the 2014 Expedition

During June through October, NOAA’s ocean exploration team will begin their 2014 expedition spanning from the Gulf of Mexico to the Caribbean Sea. The team will be live-broadcasting their travels aboard the ocean explorer ship Nautilus and will be using two remotely operated vehicles to obtain an assortment of data from the oceans floor using various methods, including acoustical mapping from high-resolution sonar devices. This mission will delve into various scientific curiosities such as the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, various Gulf of Mexico shipwrecks, and geological hazards in the Caribbean Sea.

You can meet the team and follow the explorations starting June 11 at



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Alachua County Water Quality Ordinance Excerpt

Alachua County Water Quality Ordinance Excerpt

(The following text is an excerpt from the Alachua County Water Quality Code and can be found at the link at the bottom of the blog.)

Section 9. General requirements

  1. Dry weather runoff water

It shall be prohibited to discharge into surface waters or directly into ground waters

through wells or sinkholes the following materials:

(1) Wastewater from cleaning or maintenance activities, including, but not limited

to car washing, carpet cleaning, sidewalk, building, roads and parking lot cleaning.

(2) Chlorinated wastewater from swimming pools cleanup and pool water

treatment materials, including diatomaceous earth.

(3) Wastewater, including water that has leached through waste materials

including, but not limited to barrels, trash cans, dumpsters, and containers for food scrap or food grease recycling.

(4) Wastewater from water treatment equipment, including spent brine, from

water softeners.

(b) Equipment maintenance and storage

(1) Equipment parts such as vehicle engines containing grease, oil or other

hazardous materials shall not be stored in areas susceptible to stormwater runoff.

(2) Any machine, which is to be repaired or maintained in an uncovered outdoor

area, shall be placed on an impervious surface and / or provisions shall be available to

contain hazardous materials discharges.

(3) Machinery and equipment, including motor vehicles, which are leaking

significant amounts of oil or fluids must be repaired or be stored in areas not susceptible

to stormwater runoff.

(b)Removal of debris and residue

(1) All parking lots shall be routinely swept to remove debris.

(2) Litter shall not be discharged to a surface water body. Appropriate litter

control practices shall be implemented to control litter entering surface water bodies.

(3) Landscaping waste including, but not limited to yard clippings, leaves and

branches, shall not be discharged to a surface water body.

  1. Enforcement of residential violations

In addressing residential violations of Sections 9(a) – (c), County staff shall

provide an educational approach that emphasizes environmental awareness in order to

achieve compliance prior to initiating enforcement action with the use of the provisions of Chapter 24.

Click on the link below to read the full Alachua County Water Quality Code.

Alachua County Water Quality Code


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The HMS Challenger; One of the Earliest Scientific Expeditions That Changed the Course of Scientific History

The HMS Challenger; One of the Earliest Scientific Expeditions That Changed the Course of Scientific History

The HMS Challenger set sail on December 21, 1872, from Portsmouth, England, containing an impressive crew of physicists, chemists, biologists, artists, and expert navigators, all of which shared the common goal of circumnavigating the globe while studying the flora and fauna that live within our oceans. On its 68,890-nautical-mile-voyage, the Challenger obtained 492 deep-sea soundings, 133 bottom samples, 151 open-water trawls, and 263 serial water temperature readings. It is estimated that on this voyage nearly 4,700 new species of marine life were discovered. Among some of the instruments used during this voyage were a shallow-water dredge, a deep-sea trawl (that had no closing device), specimen jars containing alcohol for preservation, thermometers and water sampling devices such as the Buchanan water sampler, 144 miles of Italian hemp rope, and 12.5 miles of piano wire for sampling gear, as well as many microscopes and instruments for the on-board laboratories. The ship contained a natural history laboratory where specimens were examined, identified, dissected, and drawn, and a chemistry laboratory containing a (then) state-of-the-art boiling device called a carbonic acid analysis apparatus, used for analyzing carbonic acid contained in samples.


  1. Oceanography: An Introduction to the Marine Environment (Peter K. Weyl, 1970)
  2. Rice, A.L. (1999). "The Challenger Expedition". Understanding the Oceans: Marine Science in the Wake of HMS Challenger. Routledge.27–48
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The Martin County Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction Project

The Martin County Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction Project

The Martin County Hurricane and Storm Damage Reduction Project is a federal project that authorizes construction of a protective and recreational beach along 4 miles of shorefront southward from the St. Lucie County line to near the limit of Stuart Public Beach Park (R-1 to R‑25). The project was initially constructed in 1996 and subsequently rebuilt in early 2005 after direct hits by hurricanes Frances and Jeanne. The most recent renourishment was completed in April 2013 and involved the placement of approximately 510,000 cy of material along the 4-mile project area. The beach renourishment project is designed to provide storm damage protection to structures that would otherwise be threatened by chronic shoreline retreat and storm-induced beach erosion while maintaining an area suitable for recreation and wildlife habitat.

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The east coast of Florida (including Martin County) supports one of the highest nesting densities of loggerhead, green, and leatherback sea turtles within the southeastern United States. This particular beach renourishment event was unique in that it was selected as a pilot project to study the potential benefits of adjusting the traditional beach nourishment design template to ameliorate some of its negative effects on nesting sea turtles. This effort is supported by Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Martin County, and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, among others. The plan was to construct alternating traditional and “turtle-friendly” segments so monitoring could be implemented in a controlled environment to scientifically verify the performance of the turtle-friendly template without compromising storm-damage-reduction benefits. This construction project design included alternating equal-length segments of shoreline using the historical template with an experimental milder slope construction template. The experimental “turtle friendly” template consists of a construction berm commencing landward at an elevation of +6.5 NAVD88 with a 1 on 50 slope then 1 on 20 to MHW. One-time comprehensive monitoring will be conducted to determine if statistically significant improvements in nest densities and hatchling production can be achieved through modifications to the traditional construction template.

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Since ANAMAR prepared the Supplemental EIS for this project, we were interested in seeing the project come to fruition. We were invited to visit the site during construction and we have included some pictures from our trip. We hope the turtles like their new beach!

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