Wellfleet Harbor off of Cape Cod Bay is known for its diverse marine life; the harbor is a popular spot for oystering. Lieutenant Island is cut off by raising Cape Cod Bay tides during the full and new moon rising; many of the species are threatened when their fragile habitat is disrupted by human impact.
The harvest in the small town of Wellfleet is celebrated by the local oyster fest; the island is famous for vast oyster reefs it once was home too. Oysters are now mostly farmed through a complex, well planned agricultural process, mainly to avoid overfishing of the harbor; local environmentalists work to place used oyster shells back into the harbor.
Horseshoe crabs are known to spawn on Wellfleet beaches during spring and summer. These creatures' closest relatives are spiders and scorpions. Young and adult crabs are surveyed by scientists.
In mid-June in Cape Cod Bay, female Diamondback Terrapin Turtles begin to come ashore and lay their eggs in nests along the harbor. Scientists work to keep this species safe within the community. Sand roads are an attractive nesting site to the turtles, so volunteers must relocate their nests.
Students from a local university work with a researcher to track and study the female turtles and protect the terrapin population. The hatchlings are released back into the salt marsh by the team after they attach radio tags to track their migration.
Credits: Safe Harbor
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Wellfleet Harbor off of Cape Cod Bay features a particularly striking and unusual tidal environment. Central to its ecosystem are naturally occurring wild oyster beds and increasingly important shellfish aquaculture grants. During the spring and early summer high tides it is also the meeting place of local populations of two threatened species: horseshoe crabs and diamondback terrapin turtles. This film presents the recent research efforts of scientists, naturalists, and local citizens to understand and protect these inhabitants of this fragile harbor in the coastal environment of Cape Cod.
Length: 29 minutes
Copyright date: ©2015
Prices include public performance rights.
Not available to Home Video customers.
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