Emerging Coastal Issues Room 202B
Jan 25, 2023 09:35 AM - 10:35 AM(America/Chicago)
20230125T0935 20230125T1035 America/Chicago Emerging Coastal Issues Room 202B 2023 Bays and Bayous Symposium mbnep@mobilebaynep.com
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Loss of Mississippi Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin pileata) Nesting Habitat and Implications for Restoration
09:35 AM - 09:50 AM (America/Chicago) 2023/01/25 15:35:00 UTC - 2023/01/25 15:50:00 UTC
In the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GNDNERR), Mississippi diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin pileata) are known to primarily nest at two locations, Point Aux-Chenes and Grand Battures, whose shorelines are retreating at rates of 0.50.-1.99 and 2.0-6.55 meters per year, respectively. Nest monitoring efforts have been predominantly conducted at Grand Battures, the location with the most ongoing nesting habitat loss. Grand Battures has received depredated nest surveys in 1995, 2007, 2009, 2014, and 2021. The 2021 surveys reported the lowest number of depredated nests to date with increased search effort, and the available shoreline nesting habitat has decreased from 2.34 km to 1.45 km since 2014. During the 2022 nesting season, we surveyed abiotic factors associated with terrapin nest site selection at three sites – Point Aux-Chenes, Grand Battures, and Graveline Bay (outside of the GNDNERR). We collected precise elevation data, vegetation community data, and soil characteristics for each depredated nest we encountered as well as for paired random points along the beach. These data are being analyzed to determine preferred nest site characteristics and we hope that this information can be used to support future nesting habitat restoration initiatives along the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Andrew Heaton
Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Michael Archer
Mississippi Department Of Marine Resources/Grand Bay NERR
Emmett Carstens
Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Kim Cressman
Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Jonathan Pitchford
Grand Bay NERR
Florida Panhandle Terrapin Project
09:50 AM - 10:05 AM (America/Chicago) 2023/01/25 15:50:00 UTC - 2023/01/25 16:05:00 UTC
Diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) are the only resident estuarine turtle in the United States. They range from Massachusetts to Texas inhabiting salt marshes, and in some cases mangroves, within each of those states. Little is known about the animal within portions of its range but there are numerous data gaps in the Florida panhandle.
Beginning in 2007 a citizen science effort was developed by a marine science program in Pensacola to first determine whether the terrapin existed in the panhandle and, if so, what their population status was. This project moved under Florida Sea Grant in 2012 and is now a partnership between Florida Sea Grant and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) surveying nesting beaches between Escambia and Franklin counties.
Trained volunteers survey known nesting beaches to determine frequency of nesting and nest predation. They also conduct 30-minute head counts in lagoons that have terrapins and assist Sea Grant and USGS with capture efforts to tag individuals. These tagged individuals can help better understand how they are using the habitat as well as obtain tissue samples for genetic studies. Volunteers are involved in seeking new potential nesting beaches in this region at the end of each nesting season.
This presentation will give a 2022 update and what this team has learned to this point and where data gaps still exist.

Rick O'Connor
Florida Sea Grant & UF IFAS Extension
Heatwave Duration Correlates with the Poor Recruitment of Oysters in Alabama Coastal Waters
10:05 AM - 10:20 AM (America/Chicago) 2023/01/25 16:05:00 UTC - 2023/01/25 16:20:00 UTC
Heatwaves are extreme temperature events defined as three or more days above the 90th percentile of daily maximum temperatures. For oysters increased temperatures (resulting in enhanced stratification and low dissolved oxygen) can lead to altered growth, reproduction, and increased mortality. This study examines the relationship between oyster recruitment and heatwaves. Our analysis is designed to examine the predictability of poor recruitment of oysters, defined as the relative abundance of spat below the median density observed over a 46-year time period at a given reef. From 1976 – 2021 the state of Alabama surveyed oysters and spat in 0.9 m2 quadrats on three oyster reefs, Buoy Reef, Cedar Point, and Kings Bayou in Mobile Bay, AL. Daily maximum temperature measurements (ºC) were taken at the Mobile County Airport and heatwaves were defined as days where the maximum temperature was ≥ 33.6 ºC. We investigated the prediction of poor recruitment using extreme cases (≥ 33% of observations) of four components of heatwaves, maximum yearly temperature, heatwave days, consecutive heatwave days, and number of heatwaves. Only consecutive days ≥ 33.6 ºCwere correlated with the poor recruitment of oysters. For two of the three oyster reefs, Buoy Reef and Kings Bayou, poor recruitment occurred 100% of the time when there were ≥ 12 consecutive heatwave days, for Cedar Point 75% of the time. Climate change is predicted to increase the periodicity and duration of heatwaves potentially resulting in decreased recruitment of oysters and should be the focus of future study.
Jeffrey Plumlee
University Of South Alabama/Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Sean Powers
Dauphin Island Sea Lab/University Of South Alabama
Jason Herrmann
Alabama Department Of Conservation And Natural Resources, Marine Resource Division
John Mareska
Alabama Department Of Conservation And Natural Resources
Impacts of Disaster Events on the Gulf of Mexico Region and States Commercial Landings and Dockside Values
00:01 AM - 11:59 PM (America/Chicago) 2023/01/25 06:01:00 UTC - 2023/01/26 05:59:00 UTC
This presentation shows the three approaches in measuring the joint and individual impacts of man-made and natural disasters, global pandemic and recessions, US-China trade war, and recent increases in fuel prices on the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) region and states commercial landings and dockside values. Recent disasters included major hurricanes, the opening of the Bonnet Carre spillway, and harmful algal blooms. The COVID-19 pandemic was declared a national emergency in the U.S. on Mar.13, 2020. The U.S. economy was in recession from Feb. to Jun. 2020. The US-China trade war started in July 2018 when the US imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods. China reciprocated by imposing equivalent tariffs on US exports. Fuel prices rose to more than $4 per gallon in early 2022. The first two approaches develop and estimate ordinary least square (OLS) equations for the GoM region and individual states. The OLS models assume that monthly landings are significantly influenced by time, month, disasters, covid19, recession, the U.S. trade war with China, the dollar index, unemployment rate, fuel price, and Gulf dockside and wholesale prices, imported wholesale prices. The first economic model (OLS1) estimates total losses from actual and predicted values. The second economic model (OLS2) estimates total losses from predicted and no-disaster values. The third economic model is the Mean-Difference model, which estimates total losses from current and previous years' benchmark values.
Presenters Ben Posadas
Mississippi State University Coastal Research And Extension Center
Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Florida Sea Grant & UF IFAS Extension
Dauphin Island Sea Lab/University of South Alabama
Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center
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