Heritage Conservancy to hold 24-hour Ecological Survey of Bristol Marsh Preserve

May 15th, 2013

Free programs being offered to the public

Doylestown, PA, May 10, 2013:  Heritage Conservancy has announced its upcoming Bristol Marsh BioBlitz in Bristol, PA, set to begin at 4:00 PM on Friday, May 17th and conclude on Saturday, May 18th at 4:00 PM. Featuring a schedule of free-to-attend outdoor programs that include an afternoon bird walk and hands-on discovery of plant and animal life in the marsh, the event will be open to the public on Saturday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

The first event of its kind to be held by Heritage Conservancy, a BioBlitz is a 24-hour ecological survey during which teams of volunteer scientists, naturalists, students, teachers, and other community members work together to discover and identify as many species of plant and animal life as possible. The teams will consist of six areas of study that include birds, reptiles and amphibians, plants, mammals, invertebrates, and aquatics.  Each team will venture into the marsh and document every species it finds.

Located along the Delaware River just southwest of the historic district of Bristol Borough of Bucks County, the Bristol March is a 33-acre natural area preserved by The Nature Conservancy and Bristol Borough and locally managed by Heritage Conservancy. The Preserve includes a rare and important fresh tidal marsh, one of the few remaining in Pennsylvania. It is home to at least six rare plant species. The findings from the survey will help Heritage Conservancy make decisions about how to conserve and steward the natural resources for this important habitat.

“Our staff is excited to have the opportunity to host this scientific and educational event and we look forward to discovering the full range of biodiversity of the Preserve. We are very grateful to Bristol Borough, the Dow Chemical Company, Bristol Borough and Township School Districts as well as The Nature Conservancy for their assistance and support in the planning of the BioBlitz,” said Susan Myerov, Heritage Conservancy’s Senior Planner and BioBlitz coordinator.

For more information about the Bristol Marsh BioBlitz and volunteer opportunities, please contact Susan Myerov at 215-345-7020 x 101.

To join in on the excitement of this pioneer event, come to one or all of the free family-friendly programs listed below. 

8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Hands-on Discovery – Watch scientists in action sorting and identifying specimens (ongoing all day).  Visit our TALLY BOARD to find out how many species are being found at the marsh, updated throughout the day.

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – Riparian Buffers in the Environment- Join watershed specialist Meghan Rogalus of the Bucks County Conservation District to learn about riparian buffer functions, characteristics and benefits. Participants compare riparian buffers to common household objects and then discuss how the different riparian functions are important to humans, aquatic life and water quality.

10:00 a.m.- 11:00 a.m. – Skins and Skulls- Wildlife Educator Sarah Berg from the Delaware Canal State Park explores the various animal adaptations through this interactive program utilizing skins and skulls of various mammals.

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Riparian Buffers in the Environment- Join watershed specialist Meghan Rogalus of the Bucks County Conservation District to learn about riparian buffer functions, characteristics and benefits. Participants compare riparian buffers to common household objects and then discuss how the different riparian functions are important to humans, aquatic life and water quality.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Native and Invasive Plant Identification- Join US Forest Service Naturalist Sarah Low on a walk to learn how to identify common native and invasive plants within the marsh preserve.

12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.. – Enviroscape© Demonstration #1 – Join environmental educator, Mary Ellen Noonan from the Bucks County Conservation District as she demonstrates the Enviroscape © Model. This 3-D interactive model demonstrates how pollution from houses, cars and factories affects our water. In addition to identifying non-point source and point source pollution, participants learn about various best management practices that can be implemented in the watershed to improve water quality.

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.. – Native and Invasive Plant Identification- Join US Forest Service Naturalist Sarah Low on a walk to learn how to identify common native and invasive plants within the marsh preserve.

1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.. – Enviroscape© Demonstration #2 – Join environmental educator, Mary Ellen Noonan from the Bucks County Conservation District as she demonstrates the Enviroscape © Model. See description above.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Afternoon Bird Walk – Join Laurie Gneiding, one of our expert birders on an educational and informative bird walk on the Bristol Marsh Preserve Property.  See if you can spot the nearby Eagle and Osprey nests and learn about the many different birds who visit the marsh during the day.

2:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. – Amphibian Workshop – Wildlife Educator Sarah Berg from the Delaware Canal State Park illustrates the many types of amphibians common to Pennsylvania in this fun workshop.

3:30 – 4:00 p.m. – Final Tally of the 2013 BioBlitz – Come find out exactly how many different species we discovered at Bristol Marsh Preserve as we reveal our final tallies.

Event is rain or shine.

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