Sarah Grap - Crab Lab

Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC

This summer at SERC I worked with the Atlantic Slope Consortium Environmental Protection Agency Grant that is creating an index of the plants and organisms in different subestuaries of the Chesapeake Bay.  As an intern, I conducted research on the density and abundance of the clam Macoma balthica.  I also compared two types of sampling devices, a corer and a grab.  The subestuaries studied were broken down into six stations where I took four cores and four grabs at each station.  The cores and grabs were sieved, preserved, and sorted for clams.  Then the clams were classified by species, measured, and the data was recorded.  Next I compared the abundance and density of Macoma balthica in the cores from the different subestuary sites.  I analyzed the data for the sampling device to identify the device that retrieved the largest quantity of clams. 

From this research I was able to find the subestuaries in the Chesapeake Bay with the largest amount of clams of certain lengths and what device worked best for retrieval of these clams.

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