Biodiversity Week at Lloyd Center to Raise Environmental Awareness

By Lauren Zaknoun | Sep 23, 2015 | Dartmouth Week | Photos by Lauren Zaknoun

biodiversity-2015As fall rolls into Dartmouth, the Lloyd Center for the Environment wants its visitors to remember the importance of the delicate ecosystems behind the crisp air and warm colors.

The Biodiversity Initiative has been an annual fixture at the Lloyd Center since its inception in 2012. Due to global warming, according to the Council of Concerned Scientists, “average temperature[s] in southern New England could rise 2-4 degrees Fahrenheit in the next 50 years.”

This rise in temperature would ultimately impact and alter natural resources and “the biodiversity of the region.”

The Lloyd Center established the Biodiversity Initiative to establish monitoring systems throughout local river watersheds and to compile existing information on them.

This year, the Lloyd Center is featuring six different events available to the public like an early morning bird walk, monarch butterfly tagging on Gooseberry Neck, seining for marine life and other outdoor expeditions.

biodiversity-mark-2015On the research end, Biodiversity Week serves as a convenient time to set up monitoring points throughout the Westport River and Slocum Rivers’ watersheds, Research Associate Jamie Bogart said. These points allow the Lloyd Center to monitor local species for years to come.

“Because of climate change and species changing their location … we wanted to know what the biodiversity has been … and what it’s going to be in the future,” Bogart said.

Bogart said this information will help the state understand how to manage its landscape and prepare for climate change.

Research is ongoing throughout the field season but Biodiversity Week provides an intensive period in which a lot gets done by various members of the community, Bogart said.

On Sept. 22, Tabor Academy instructor Cindy Muther and her students trekked down to the Lloyd Center for their annual community service event, Service Day. Students worked from 9 to 11 a.m. adding gravel to the butterfly garden trail.

“There’s been a lot of data [collected] in Massachusetts historically, but there’s still a lot to be collected, particularly in this region,” Bogart said.