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As they say, “it is important to stop and smell the roses”, but I’m sure most of us rarely do in a busy week. Even though we at ReadyReef get the opportunity to work on the shores of the multi-faceted Chesapeake Bay, even its features get reduced to a few simple things that hide what is in plain sight. A blasting NE or NW winter wind concentrates the mind on keeping warm and getting the work done as fast as possible. We don’t look up and study the scudding sky, spend time to see the whipping horse tails leaping off the wavetops, or catalog the porpoising waterfowl. There are seemingly hundreds of different feathers as they dine, segregated as usual, below the gales on the salad bar at the bottom of the sea.

Our business though is concerned with what is beneath the water and not casually observed. There lies the detail in the level of the Fantastic: myriads of species, intertwining in the whirl of sea life, flashes of colors and subtle movements.

 

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Major correction: not as many or as populous of the variety of species as a healthy Chesapeake Bay once offered or could offer again. So, we offer this solution: a reef community that stretches landward and seaward, down into the bottom and up through the water column out into our atmosphere. The actual science of this will be in a future blog.

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We spoke with a young woman about the large white and brown shrimp that surprisingly can be found in the Chesapeake, not just the small grass shrimp. She confessed she did not like shrimp. We thought, except for those with allergies, who doesn’t like shrimp? She said: “I consider them the bugs of the sea.”

And what a bug it is! It has 14 stages of development in its life, it traverses long distances in the process, and we only think about eating it. Just take a close look at the amazing complexity in photo and text:

http://www.seagrantfish.lsu.edu/pdfs/shrimpcycle_info.pdf Substitute Atlantic Ocean for Gulf in the text.

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Some of that “estuarine” location is in the shallows of the Chesapeake Bay, just offshore of our disappearing marsh grasses and amongst our few thriving oyster communities.

The point is this, the miraculous variations of the natural world are there for us to see and to be good stewards of it. We can rebuild the original, highly productive habitats that were our shorelines before the mass, unsustainable harvest of the oyster reefs. They armored the marsh edge that rooted the soil down, even in storm events that powered waves ashore.

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Is there a natural treasure at the end of the rainbow at your waterfront? If not, give us a call. We have the real deal, and that is no cliché: 804-338-3103 or 804-513-3846