An Update On Our Biohut Restoration
Published April 17, 2015
Last June, in partnership with Biohabitats, Inc. and ECOCEAN, the National Aquarium installed eight biohuts along the bulkheads in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. We’re excited to announce that after a successful trial run, we’re expanding the program!
So far, we’ve documented 18 different species visiting the existing biohuts, including grass shrimp, blue crabs, American eels, sea nettles, pink comb jellies and more! Yesterday, six new biohuts were added along the Aquarium’s Pier 3 and four were installed at Masonville Cove.
Biohuts help restore some of the ecological function once provided by the natural landscapes of the Inner Harbor. Oysters serve as biological filters by filter feeding and removing algae from the water, while the empty, outer cage provides predator-free shelter for juvenile native fish.
They also allow us to monitor species diversity and abundance in the Harbor. The team is also monitoring the growth of the oyster spat. The information collected from the biohuts is shared with the Maryland Biodiversity Project.
The Aquarium’s conservation project manager Charmaine Dahlenburg says the biohuts are important because we can’t conserve what we don’t know we have. “Everything we find is new and exciting, because we’re adding it to a list that never existed. Wildlife in urban areas is often underrepresented. With this baseline information we can build each year to study patterns and changes in the Harbor and Baltimore City.”
Stay tuned for more updates on our biohabitat program!