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Biodiversity Project 05.13.15

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Biodiversity presentation given at Brooklyn College on May 13, 2016. Details biodiversity in 2 local water sources in New York City: Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek.

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Biodiversity Project 05.13.15

  1. 1. bio DIVERSITY We wanted to find out how much biodiversity exists at these two still polluted sites. ABOUT THE SUBJECTS Newtown CreekGowanus Canal
  2. 2. bio DIVERSITY Each of us live near polluted waterways here in New York City. We decided to take a look at two of these waterways. OUR IDEA
  3. 3. bio DIVERSITY GOWANUS CANAL Once a busy cargo transportation hub, the canal is now recognized as one of the most polluted bodies of water in the United States, and is labeled as a Superfund site. The canal's history has paralleled the decline of domestic shipping via water. The canal is still used for waterborne transportation of goods, notably fuel oil, scrap metal and aggregates. ABOUT THE SUBJECTS
  4. 4. bio DIVERSITY NEWTOWN CREEK Channelization made it one of the most heavily used bodies of water in the Port of New York and New Jersey and thus one of the most polluted industrial sites in the US, containing years of discarded toxins, an estimated 30 million gallons of spilled oil, including the Greenpoint oil spill and raw sewage from New York City’s sewer system. ABOUT THE SUBJECTS
  5. 5. bio DIVERSITY POLLUTION Pollutants can have a tremendous impact on the ecosystem. In a river, for example, the oxygen cycle will stop and the polluted water will affect the animals dependent on the water. URBANIZATION Urbanization causes biodiversity to decline. As cities grow vital habitat is destroyed or fragmented into patches not big enough to support complex ecological communities. ABOUT THE PROBLEM
  6. 6. BIO DIVERSITY POLLUTION AND THE CLEAN-UP Both bodies of water are superfund sites (2010) but Newtown Creek was ‘rehabbed’ in 2002 by NYS/NYC. In addition, Newtown Creek is lees used by industry at this point. Thus, Newtown Creek should be ‘cleaner’. QUESTION Do historic levels of pollution in New York City waterways create an environment where there is less biodiversity in these waterways, presently? ABOUT THE QUESTION
  7. 7. bio DIVERSITY If a body of water has been more recently polluted then it will have less biodiversity within and around. ABOUT THE HYPOTHESIS
  8. 8. bio DIVERSITY VARIABLES DEPENDENT Amount of biodiversity at each site INDEPENDENT Waterways INDEPENDENT Date at which the waterway was cleaned and industrial dumping ceased CONTROL Biodiversity as recorded at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Preserve
  9. 9. bio DIVERSITY PROCEDURE BEGIN ENDREVIEW FIND A PROBLEM IN THE AREA TAKE A WATER SAMPLE IDENTIFY THE PLANTS AND WILDLIFE IN THE IMAGES TAKE PICTURES OF FLORA AND FAUNA NEAR WATERWAY COUNT THE OBSERVED SPECIES COMPARE SITES COFFEE BREAK
  10. 10. bio DIVERSITY MEASUREMENTS HOW WE COUNT We took pictures of plants and trees in the area for identification later. If there were any visible wildlife we tried to take a picture or log them. More than meets the eye. Bacteria, algae and small multicellular organisms. We got as close to the same time of day each day we counted. PICTURES OF FLORA PICTURES OF FAUNA JARS OF WATER SCHEDULE
  11. 11. bio DIVERSITY 16 6 8 7 37 Gowanus Flora Gowanus Fauna Gowanus "Microbes" Unknown TOTAL SPECIES DATA BIODIVERSITY AT THE GOWANUS CANAL
  12. 12. bio DIVERSITY 20 8 3 7 38 Newtown Flora Newtown Fauna Newtown "Microbes" Unknown TOTAL DATA BIODIVERSITY AT NEWTOWN CREEK
  13. 13. bio DIVERSITY 25 12 8 8 53 Jamaica Bay Flora Jamaica Bay Fauna Jamaica Bay "Microbes" Unknown TOTAL SPECIES DATA BIODIVERSITY AT JAMAICA BAY WILDLIFE PRESERVE
  14. 14. bio DIVERSITY The data shows that the least polluted of the waterways (control) had the greatest biodiversity and the most polluted had the least. Thus, our hypothesis was correct. CONCLUSION
  15. 15. bio DIVERSITY ERRORS TIME OF YEAR A long winter delays plants from greening/blooming and animals from coming out, making true counting and ID difficult. OBSERVATION LOCATIONS With limited time comes limited results. We could not survey all areas of the waterways. KNOWLEDGE LIMITATION It is very possible we did not count species because we could not properly differentiate them from another species or could not ID them at all. SCOPE With so many more waterways it would be worthwhile to evaluate other bodies of water. 1 2 3 4
  16. 16. bio DIVERSITY PROJECT EXTENTIONS ORIGINAL BIODIVERSITY PROJECT ACTION Cleaning up polluted waterways ACTION Make New Yorkers aware of the biodiversity in their waterways ADDITIONAL RESEARCH Adding sites and/or more complete survey ADDITIONAL RESEARCH Focusing on the amount of one species to judge waterway health
  17. 17. bio DIVERSITY SOME OF THE SPECIES WE OBSERVED Spartina alterniflora Panicum virgatum Aster novi-belgii Baccharis halimifolia Branta canadensis Colinus virginianus Pandion haliaetus Zenaida macroura
  18. 18. BIO DIVERSITY Bellinger, E., & Sigee, D. (2010). Freshwater algae identification and use as bioindicators. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Cunetta, J., & Feuer, R. (1967). Design of the Newtown Creek Water Pollution Control Project, the City of New York. New York: Dept. of Public Works. Drake, S., & Kim, Y. (2011). Gowanus Canal Sponge ParkTM. Ecological Restoration, 392-400. References
  19. 19. BIO DIVERSITY Flora of North America: North of Mexico. (1993). New York: Oxford University Press. Hamboussi, A. (2010). Newtown Creek: A photographic survey of New York's industrial waterfront. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. Held, J. (n.d.). Progress on the Gowanus Canal. References
  20. 20. BIO DIVERSITY Held, J. (1999, August 1). KAYAKING JAMAICA BAY New York City wildlife refuge. New York State Conservationist. Jackson, K. (2008). The almanac of New York City. New York: Columbia University Press. Magee, D., & Ahles, H. (1999). Flora of the Northeast a manual of the vascular flora of New England and adjacent New York. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. References
  21. 21. BIO DIVERSITY Matsen, B. (2005). Go wild in New York City. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic. O'connor, T. (2011). Commentary on Gowanus Canal Sponge ParkTM. Ecological Restoration, 401-402. Palmer, C., & Lewis, R. (1977). Algae and water pollution: An illustrated manual on the identification, significance, and control of algae in water supplies and in polluted water. Cincinnati: Municipal Environmental Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ;. References
  22. 22. BIO DIVERSITY Waldman, J. (2013). Heartbeats in the muck: The history, sea life, and environment of New York Harbor (Rev. ed.). New York: Empire State Editions. Special thanks to volunteers at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and the NYC Audubon for helping to ID some species. References
  23. 23. Go ahead. Ask away. Give us your best shot. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS Where we hope you’ll find the answer to any question you may have about
  24. 24. BIO DIVERSITY List of Species Observed - Gowanus Gowanus Canal - 3/26/2015 Flora Fauna Microbes Aster ericoides / Heath aster Blue jay / Cyanocitta cristata Chlorophyceae Carex crinita / Crinkled sedge Blue-winged warbler / Vermivora cyanoptera Cyanobacteria Carex vulpinoidea / Fox sedge Chipping sparrow / Spizella passerina Klebsormidiaceae Juncus effusus / Soft rush Eastern Grey Squirrel / Sciurus carolinensis Mesostigmatophyceae Leersia oryzoides / Rice cutgrass Hermit thrush / Catharus guttatus Pedinomonadaceae Myrica pensylvanica / Northern bayberry Northern mockingbird / Mimus polyglottos Ulvophyceae Oenothera fruticosa / Sundrops Volvox aureus Osmunda cinnamomea / Cinnamon fern Volvox rouseletti Pontederia cordata / Pickerelweed Sagittaria latifolia / Arrowhead Scirpus pungens / Common threesquare Scirpus validus / Great bulrush Tradescantia virginiana / Spiderwort Typha angustifolia / Narrow-leaved cattail Typha latifolia / Broad-leaved cattail Vernonia noveboracensis / New York ironweed
  25. 25. BIO DIVERSITY List of Species Observed - Gowanus Newtown Creek - 4/16/2015 Flora Fauna Microbes Aronia arbutifolia / Red chokeberry Blue jay / Cyanocitta cristata Cyanobacteria Aronia melanocarpa / Black chokeberry Double-crested cormorant / Phalacrocorax auritus Ulvophyceae Eupatorium purpureum / Purple Joe-Pye weed Eastern bluebird / Sialia sialis Volvox rouseletti Osmunda cinnamomea / Cinnamon fern Eastern Grey Squirrel / Sciurus carolinensis Ilex opaca / American holly Hermit thrush / Catharus guttatus Baccharis halimifolia / Groundsel bush House wren / Troglodytes aedon Asclepias syriaca / Common milkweed Mourning dove / Zenaida macroura Aster novi-belgii / New York aster Red-breasted nuthatch / Sitta canadensis Panicum virgatum / Switchgrass Pinus rigida / Pitch pine Pontederia cordata / Pickerelweed Quercus alba / White oak Rhus copallinum / Shining sumac Sagittaria latifolia / Arrowhead Schizachyrium scoparium / Little bluestem Scirpus validus / Great bulrush Sorghastrum nutans / Indian grass Spiraea alba / Meadowsweet Typha angustifolia / Narrow-leaved cattail Typha latifolia / Broad-leaved cattail
  26. 26. BIO DIVERSITY List of Species Observed - JBE Jamaica Bay Estuary - 4/23/2015 Flora Fauna Microbes Ammophila breviligulata / Beachgrass American bittern / Botaurus lentiginosus Bacillariophyceae Andropogon virginicus / Broomsedge American black duck / Anas rubripes Chlorophyceae Asclepias syriaca / Common milkweed Blue jay / Cyanocitta cristata Chlorophyta Asclepias tuberosa / Butterflyweed Canada goose / Branta canadensis Cyanobacteria Aster ericoides / Heath aster Common goldeneye / Bucephala clangula Phaeophyceae Aster linariifolius / Stiff-leaf aster Common nighthawk / Chordeiles minor Ulvophyceae Aster novi-belgii / New York aster Double-crested cormorant / Phalacrocorax auritus Volvox rouseletti Baccharis halimifolia / Groundsel bush Glossy ibis / Plegadis falcinellus Zygnematales Carex pensylvanica / Pennsylvania sedge Mallard / Anas platyrhynchos Coreopsis lanceolata / Lance-leaf coreopsis Mourning dove / Zenaida macroura Distichlis spicata / Saltgrass Northern harrier / Circus cyaneus Oenothera fruticosa / Sundrops Osprey / Pandion haliaetus Osmunda cinnamomea / Cinnamon fern Panicum virgatum / Switchgrass Pontederia cordata / Pickerelweed Sagittaria latifolia / Arrowhead Schizachyrium scoparium / Little bluestem Scirpus validus / Great bulrush Solidago rugosa / Rough-leaved goldenrod Solidago sempervirens / Seaside goldenrod Sorghastrum nutans / Indian grass Spartina alterniflora / Saltmarsh cordgrass Spartina patens Saltmeadow / cordgrass Typha angustifolia / Narrow-leaved cattail Typha latifolia / Broad-leaved cattail
  27. 27. LOCAL WATERSIgbala Metjahic Kory Leka Scott Keatley

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