Wetlands walk attracts engaged crowd
May 24, 2016
On April 9, Joe Morina, a graduate student in VCU’s Biology Department, led a wetlands walk at the Rice Rivers Center. In his role as a Virginia Sea Grant Graduate Research Fellow, and in coordination with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, he led 18 participants on the walk who wished to learn more about wetland ecosystems.
A group that included master naturalists and wastewater treatment workers learned about wetland ecology and the extensive wetland restoration efforts at the Rice Rivers Center. At the restored wetland, Morina demonstrated some basic methods of wetlands research, including sampling a soil core, viewing gas flux chambers, and understanding the use of litter bags for measuring decomposition rates or performing soil transplants. Lastly, the group walked to the swamp and discussed the differences in ecosystem function between the marsh and the swamp. The walk concluded with a discussion focusing on the importance of wetland ecosystems to water quality.