Aquatic Invader: European Green Crab
The European Green Crab (EGC) is a voracious little invasive that has found its way over the past decade or so to our local waters. Recently identified North and South of the border, this species, if it takes hold, could threaten the biodiversity of our local waters including the 'nursery' of the intertidal zone: eelgrass (zostera marina). Friends of Semiahmoo Bay is proud to be spearheading local efforts to survey, identify and trap these invasive critters in collaboration with Fisheries & Oceans Canada and with some with some funding support from BC Nature, the BC Naturalists Foundation, the City of White Rock and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. We're engaging various community groups and dedicated marine naturalist volunteers in this work. Special thanks to Surrey City's SHaRP team and the Boundary Bay Parks Association volunteers for assisting with some survey & trapping work this season! If you have an interest in this project, please be in touch as we'll continue survey & trapping work in Spring 2021.
One important aspect of this work is public education. Through our Beach Hero Marine Interpreter Program, supported in part this year by White Rock City's Grants-in-Aid program, we had 'gumboots on the ground' in Boundary Bay at White Rock and Crescent Beach as well as a strong presence on social media providing public education with a focus this season on the EGC. You may have seen Lori wearing her signature orange Beach Hero uniform in the recent PAN article highlighting the damage causes by the EGC, or out and about with volunteers, slogging through mud, sand and waves during August and September or set up at an info table helping the public recognize the difference between our native crab species and this elusive invasive. Lori has also partnered with local science teacher Kristy Harrison from Semiahmoo High School along with some of her students who are researching the impact of these crustaceans and assisting monitoring efforts. This work will be a part of ongoing student inquiry projects and has had a tremendous impact on current students.
We'd like to extend thanks to the Summer/Fall 2020 project team including sponsors, volunteers and Lori, Beach Hero 2020. As winter arrives, survey work will slow and the crabs will go into dormancy making them difficult, if not impossible, to trap. This pause will allow our incoming Education Coordinator, Megan, to plan and prepare for the work to come including the development of educational materials and conducting community outreach via social media and this website. Thanks in part to Project Learning Tree Canada for the generous matching funds to support this ongoing work. Watch for more in the months to come... and visit our Facebook for regular updates. Consider how you might get involved in the Spring!