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August 29, 2003
Community Open House Planned at the Marine Biological Laboratory's New Research Facility in Newbury

Public is invited to learn more about coastal research activities at Plum Island Sound

Woods Hole, MA—The Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts is hosting an open house at their newly acquired Marshview Farm property in Newbury, Massachusetts on Sunday, September 7 from 12:00-2:00 PM. Scientists from the MBL’s Ecosystems Center will be on hand to discuss the Laboratory's Plum Island Sound Research Program, which focuses on understanding how coastal ecosystems are affected by changing land cover, climate, and sea level. The public is invited to attend.

The MBL purchased the five-acre farm in the North Shore community in the Spring of 2003, however Ecosystems Center scientists have been studying Plum Island Sound and its watersheds—the Parker, Rowley, and Ipswich River basins—since the mid 1980s. The area has long been recognized as one of the most valuable estuarine habitats on the Atlantic coast and is particularly noted for its extensive salt marshes and tidal flats, rich shellfish beds, and abundant fish and wildlife.

Scientists currently sample the many environments of Plum Island year-round, from saltmarshes, to streams, to the surrounding watershed. Studies range from identifying the relationship between land use and water quality in the Ipswich and Parker Rivers, to the effect of sea level rise on the integrity of intertidal salt marshes, to the importance of habitat quality on the production of estuarine fish.

The Marshview Farm property consists of two houses, a garage, and a large barn/farm market building as well as a few smaller outbuildings. It is located at 297 Newburyport Turnpike (Rte. 1), Newbury, Massachusetts. For more information, contact the Marine Biological Laboratory’s Communications and Public Information Office at 508-289-7423.

The Marine Biological Laboratory is an independent scientific institution, founded in 1888, that undertakes the highest level of creative research and education in biology, including the biomedical and environmental sciences. The research of the MBL's Ecosystems Center, established in 1975, is focused on the study of natural ecosystems. Among the key environmental issues being addressed are: the ecological consequences of global climate change; tropical deforestation and its effects on greenhouse gas fluxes; nitrogen saturation of mid-latitude forests; effects of acid rain on North American lakes; and pollution and habitat destruction in coastal ecosystems of the United States.