Dauphin Island Sea Lab scientists seek to restore Robinson Island grassbeds by utilizing sea birds natural functions
Although most people consider bird droppings a nuisance, scientists at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab see them as a rich source of phosphorus, a natural fertilizer for grassbeds which have been destroyed by boat propellers. Over the next couple of months, Sea Lab scientists Dr. Ken Heck and Dr. John Dindo will be setting out bird stakes in an effort to revive scarred grassbeds around the popular recreational spot of Robinson Island in Orange Beach, Alabama.
Robinson Island is a favored spot in the summer, with constant boat traffic in its shallow waters. Its underwater shoal grassbeds, however, have been much impacted by propeller damage; and much of the terrestrial vegetation on the island itself was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Drs. Heck and Dindo received a grant from the Gulf of Mexico Program to restore both the dune habitation and the prop-scarred grassbeds of this popular location.
Lisa Young | EurekAlert!
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