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.
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: April posted on May 14
A lamb at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton. Photo by David Cawston April’s contest winner was David Cawston who photographed a spring lamb at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton. The Cummings School of …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: April
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March posted on Apr 23
Girard’s Sugarhouse in Heath, MA. The sugarhouse was built in 1887 and produces around 250-300 gallons of syrup annually. Photo by Michael Girard March’s contest winner was Michael Girard who photographed his family’s sugarhouse in Heath. Michael Girard has been a sugarmaker since 1961 when he …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February posted on Feb 25
February’s contest winner was Amanda Bettle, who photographed sheep at The Natural Resources Trust of Easton. This photo features Dog, a former 4-H show animal and sole male sheep among the nine ewes in the Natural Resources Trust of Easton (NRT) flock. It is the mission …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February