Hurricane Irene is bearing down on Massachusetts and may pack 12 inches of rain, a coastal storm surge and plenty of ferocious winds. Depending how these threats develop in the next 48 hours you might be pulling in your boat, putting up the storm windows and battening down the proverbial hatches.
On our list is deploying pressure transducers.
This week, Franz Ingelfinger and Jeremy Bell, ecologists from the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, will be scattered along the coast at recently completed and soon to be constructed salt marsh restoration sites. They’ll be double checking monitoring equipment and installing new electronic water level gauges (pressure transducers) to see how restoration sites respond to extreme tidal conditions. Data from these types of events reveal how accurate design predictions are in the real world and how recently installed culverts and tide gates, intended to increase natural flow, perform under stress. Large storm events, such as Hurricane Irene, also reveal the threat posed by failing or undersized infrastructure, which can impound water and exacerbate coastal flooding.
A healthy salt marsh is one of your best defenses against a major coastal storm, whether it’s hurricanes from the south or Nor’easters from the Gulf of Maine. Marshes cushion the blow of fierce waves and rip tides – protecting roads, rails and homes. Designing restoration projects that accommodate monster tides and epic events is always an important consideration, especially given that many of our marshes are bounded by essential infrastructure.
Once the last of the storm retreats inland or up the coast of Maine, Jeremy and Franz will crunch the data and see whether culverts, tide gates and proposed restoration actions are doing their job and whether engineers are correct in their assumptions.
2014 DAR Agricultural Photo Calendar: July posted on Jul 1
July’s Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Tamara Buckley-Leclerc, who photographed pickled green beans or dilly beans at Carraig Farm in Ashby. Tamara says that dilly beans, seen in the July photo, are one of her husband’s favorites. She takes advantage of canning and freezing …Continue Reading 2014 DAR Agricultural Photo Calendar: July
Asparagus: A Massachusetts Tradition posted on Jun 18
Asparagus is one of the first spring crops we harvest here in Massachusetts. It found its way to Massachusetts in the late 1700’s by way of colonist from the Netherlands who settled in West Brookfield. In the late 19th century Concord began its agricultural focus …Continue Reading Asparagus: A Massachusetts Tradition
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: June posted on Jun 12
June’s Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Liz West, who photographed two adorable dairy cows; a Guernsey and a Jersey at Stanley Farm in Boxborough. June is National Dairy Month, a time to celebrate and enjoy dairy products when milk production typically is at its …Continue Reading 2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: June