Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Casting a Line into Summertime!

         Hi everyone! My name is Michael Dello Russo and I am a returning LHE for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay this summer. I’m from Revere, MA and grew up fishing, tide pooling, and just being in the ocean. This made me super passionate about nature and helped me pursue a major in environmental science with a concentration in conservation at Northeastern University. I hope to pursue a career in wildlife biology managing large mammals such as moose, elk, and other cervids. I was fortunate enough to work for the Pennsylvania Game Commission this past winter tagging and collaring white-tailed deer to study their movements within one of the chronic wasting disease management areas. Working with these animals was such a surreal experience and I can’t wait to do more wildlife work!
Pennsylvania Game Commission crew
            Last summer was the first summer I worked for Saved the Harbor and I’m so excited to be back this year! I loved the opportunity to share the same experiences I had growing up with kids. Hopefully I helped to educate some of the people who came through our programming last summer and I’m excited to continue spreading the message of Save the Harbor this summer!

            Boston Harbor is one of the greatest environmental success stories, going from a place that you couldn’t swim in without needing a tetanus shot to one of the cleanest harbors in the country. One of the coolest things we did on the Belle was look at the underside of the flounder we caught. When the harbor was at its worst, flounder would often have visible tumors but all of the flounder we caught were healthy. The efforts that went into cleaning up Boston harbor changed it from a port to be ashamed of into one to be proud of. 

            I love learning new things about the harbor and the organisms that live there so I can use that information to educate the people that come through our programming. It was super interesting to learn that all black sea bass are born females but once they reach maturity some will become males and develop a hump on their head. Tautog or blackfish are also sexual dimorphic (meaning males and females look different), where the females will have a white chin and the males with have a black chin. One of the most important pieces of information that I picked up during orientation was that striped bass are overfished. Being interested in the management of species and conservation it’s important to me that people are able to harvest animals as long as populations are maintained. New England has seen its fair share of marine resource depletion due to overfishing. The Atlantic cod was once the backbone of the economy of the northeast, but now the population is a fraction of what it was due to overfishing. 

            Orientation was really fun! I love being on the water so getting on boats for two of the three days was a pleasure. It was a great way to get us excited for the summer. I also enjoyed meeting all of the new faces that I’ll be working with this summer along with catching up with other returners. Everyone seems more than ready to start programming, and I can tell that this summer’s going to be awesome!

Striped Bass on the fly!
See you on the Harbor,

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