So we say goodbye.
Patricia Rafferty graced us with a visit today.
As the Coastal Ecologist for the NE region of the NPS, her dominion spans from Maine to Virginia. She has overseen many marsh restoration projects in Jamaica Bay and Long Island, and was curious about Rocky Point. She liked what she saw. The marsh, she said, is unique for it's range of habitat, supporting grasses typical of upper and lower salt marshes.
Here are the three dominant species, not including phragmites: Spartina patens, Spartina alterniflora, and ?
She also suspects that the dune hasn't always been there, and probably formed as a result of sand funneling through the two jetties to the east and west. If this is true, then the marsh used to experience a daily tidal inflow, not just on extreme high tides as it does now. A sequence of aerial photos dating back to the 1930's should reveal the truth. Stay tuned on that.
While Broc dismembered away, Kim Nora, Patti, Tony and I focused on clearing the area around the ex-boat.
The cleanup area was so spread out that I'll just leave you with this:
High of 42, wind WNW @ 9 MPH, -.7 low tide @ 1:33 PM, water level unrecorded; ice has pulled yard stick out. All marsh flooded and frozen 2-5" thick.
Birds seen: black brant, Canadian geese, northern mockingbird, unidentified raptor