The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays invites the public to learn about volunteer-driven fish research, coastal resiliency and local environmental monitoring efforts during a virtual meeting of its Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15.
The center’s STAC meetings are a fantastic opportunity for residents to learn about local environmental issues and ask questions about the latest research in the Inland Bays. This committee provides objective, science-driven advice and guidance to the center’s board of directors and other cooperating agencies with interests in the Inland Bays.
Dr. Christian Schwarz, an assistant professor at the University of Delaware’s School of Marine Science and Policy, will share results from recent projects that examined how small organisms, such as plants or worms, can impact ecosystems and how they respond to climate change. He also will discuss how man-made and natural processes impact coastal wetlands loss.
Andrew McGowan, the center’s environmental scientist, will present findings from a long-term shorezone fish study that sheds light on population dynamics for four understudied forage fish species. These smaller fish play important roles as food sources for larger species such as bluefish or striped bass. The four species to be discussed are Atlantic silverside, mummichog, sheepshead minnow and striped killifish.
"Nine years of dedicated efforts by local citizen scientists have helped shed light on the population changes of several forage fish species, changes that may impact the entire Inland Bays marine ecosystem,” said McGowan. “Hundreds of volunteers have contributed to this project, and it is gratifying to see their hard work translate into meaningful science for the Inland Bays and for the Mid-Atlantic region as a whole."
Dr. Marianne Walch, CIB science and restoration coordinator, also will provide updates on the center’s environmental monitoring plan and a review of indicators related to short- and long-term environmental trends in the Inland Bays.
The public and members of the media can attend the Zoom meeting at udel.zoom.us/j/96604761476 and enter the passcode “science.” To join by phone, dial 646-876-9923 and enter meeting ID “966 0476 1476.”
For a draft agenda and more information, go to inlandbays.org/stac.