Dutch Harbor Marine Invasive Species BioBlitz (Final Report)
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Dutch Harbor Marine Invasive Species BioBlitz (Final Report)

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    A hotspot of shipping and fisheries activity among the Aleutians, Dutch Harbor is susceptible to impacts of both climate change, which is projected to be greatest at high latitudes, and shipping related introductions of marine non-native species. To recognize and understand ecosystem change in response to these forces, it is critical to establish measures of coastal ecosystem health that can be easily quantified and repeated. Involving the community in taking these measures strengthens local marine knowledge and ownership and builds long-term monitoring capacity. Working with the local community in Dutch Harbor, our objectives were to: * Assemble and build upon previous knowledge of benthic and fouling assemblages.  Quantify change in marine fouling assemblages relative to surveys completed 15yrs ago. * Engage the local community through schools and citizen science outreach, to raise awareness and ownership of monitoring, best management practices and control of marine invasive species. * Cultivate local knowledge and skills for long-term monitoring capacity. These objectives were achieved through a combination of a week-long field visit to Unalaska, followed by dedicated taxonomic and molecular scrutiny of collections made. Outreach and education events in Unalaska included public radio broadcast, a BioBlitz that was attended by members of diverse groups among the community, hands-on marine biology workshops with students from Unalaska City High School, and evening presentations that were open to the public. Field surveys for collection of invertebrate specimens included those from floating docks in the commercial and small boat harbors, coastal intertidal substrates and subtidal habitats accessed on SCUBA. Local residentsNo new non-natives were recognized during the surveys. The continued presence of the Japanese skeleton shrimp, Caprella mutica, was confirmed. A previous record of a species that should also be recognized as non-native is also highlighted. Continued outreach efforts will be important to the future protection of this foci among the Aleutian Islands. were included in the collection activities focused on floating docks and subtidal habitats.
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