Monday, February 28, 2011

Scenes from Bethel Beach: The Marsh










From the site ChesapeakeBay.net:

"The tidal marshes of the Chesapeake Bay's shallows are border habitats that connect shorelines to forests and wetlands. Just like wetlands and underwater bay grass beds, tidal marshes provide food and shelter for the vast array of fish, birds, invertebrates and other animals that dwell in shallow waters.
There are three types of tidal marshes found along the Chesapeake Bay:

  • Freshwater marshes of the upper Bay
  • Brackish marshes of the middle Bay
  • Salt marshes of the lower Bay
Salt Marshes
Salt marshes are wetlands dominated by cordgrass, also called Spartina. They are one of the most productive plant communities on earth. Salt marshes are located above and below the high tide line.
  • Low marshes are regularly flooded by the tides. The tall form of smooth cordgrass grows here. Low marshes provide critical habitat for juvenile fish, as well as shrimps, fiddler crabs, marsh crabs, marsh periwinkles and ribbed mussels.
  • High marshes are irregularly flooded by strong winds or exceptionally high tides. Three-squares, saltmeadow cordgrass and the short form of smooth cordgrass grow here."

Cordgrass?

Spartina?

Who knew?

 Did you?

I've always referred to it as marsh grass. Spartina? Really?

9 comments:

deborah said...

I find this marshy information very interesting - I once obtained a degree in biology (back when dinosaurs and room sized computers ruled the earth).
Have a great Monday!

Deltaville Jamie said...

If I admitt I knew does that make me a nerd, dork or geek? What does it mean if I say I saved my Environmental Science college textbook about the CHesapeake Bay and that I keep it on my nightstand for some "light reading"?

Maria Worbetz said...

Where I live we have a ton of them! here is some local info on our local salt marshes.

http://www.njwildlifetrails.org/PineBarrensTrails/Sites/tabid/1698/Scope/site/Guide/PINEBARREN/Site/344/Loop/ACGOFB/Default.aspx

Absecon is the town right next to where I live in Galloway Twp.

I really enjoy living by the water, it is just to bad that I don't have more time to stop and smell the roses...some day.

TTFN

Caution Flag said...

I was tempted to say that I did know that, but the only thing I dislike less than a know-it-all is a liar. So...

Now that I think about it, I might like veggies less than liars. Hmm.

Daryl said...

Fascinating .. and lovely .. I wish you could come up next weekend .. xo

maria_nj said...

CBW I have a question that you might be able to answer... from Twin Coves, (the Blog Cabin area and home) what is the closest beach and how long do you say the drive is there. Is there anything walkable? to get to the water with a sandy beach area? Thanking you in advance...(I know how busy you are)

Kay L. Davies said...

I've never heard of Spartina. It sounds very spartan. I've heard of marsh grass, of course. I was raised by a sport fisherman turned outdoor writer, so I know lots of things I seldom think about.
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

deborah-I'm very impressed at the degree in bio - math and science were/are not my forte so I always admire anyone who excels in those areas.

Jamie - I almost added "Put your hand down, Jamie" right after asking if anyone knew about these grass names, because I knew you would! Having a book on the bay makes you cool rather than geeky. And anyone who dons a rubber ducky float while frolicking in the bay is, of course, anything but nerdy. It shows you have depth of character and an appreciation for the finer things in life. (Which is how I also feel about anyone wearing crab hats, present company included.)

Maria W. - I clicked on the link, very interesting. I'm quasi- familiar with the pine barrens; many moons ago we'd drive past them on the way to the beach each summer.

CF-Vegetables are my favorite food! Come here for a visit this summer when the garden is at its peak and I'll convert you. It's all in the preparation.

Daryl - I really, really wish I could.

Maria from NJ - If we're talking about the three main public beaches they'll be about five or ten minutes away by car. Bicycling is a little trickier/longer; traveling by foot is possible if you're into a long hike, but not really advisable, especially in the summer time--due to horse flies; may flies; Amazon Jungle heat and humidity and fiddler crabs all over the roads leading up to these beaches. (Fiddler crabs won't harm you, but they're highly distracting especially when you're swatting flies and bird-sized mosquitoes.) Seriously, it's not a far drive by car at all, and they're almost always desolate. Beautiful and desolate.

Kay - I thought Spartina sounded spartan too; also like a famous tennis player; or a Russian space program; or something...

Mental P Mama said...

Spartina sounds like cereal.