Field Trip Report, Marine Park, September 2023

Torrey Botanical Society Field Trip, Marine Park

I just finished [2023-10-28] uploading the last of my photos and iNaturalist observations from the Torrey Botanical Society field trip to Marine Park on Saturday, September 16. I had a huge backlog of photos from my 2nd trip to the Adirondacks this year (warranting its own blog post), and I’m slowly catching up.

Mud fiddler crab (Minuca pugnax)

Our Trip Leader was Priyanthe Wijesinghe (cradling the handsome crab above), Torrey Council member, and keen iNaturalist observer of Marine Park: roughly 75% of his iNat observations are from that area of Brooklyn. As often occurs with Torrey field trips, there were several heavy-hitter botanists attending. Some more of us — myself included — could be considered more general naturalists. Altogether, on iNaturalist we documented 130 different species (taxa) that day, only 47 of which were plants.

For my part, in my observations of the day, I documented 37 plant species (80% of the total), and 78 overall (60%). Even more exciting for me, 13 of the species were new to me! (On iNaturalist, at least.) A good part of that is the benefit of having so many keen and knowledgable observers on-hand to point out and identify interesting organisms.

Autumn olive (Eleagnus umbellata)

The other is the unusual habitats accessible in the park, mostly sandy shoreline meadows and salt marsh. And, as our visit was timed to coincide with low tide, we had access to things washing up on the shore, as well. Each of these habitats presents its own challenges and opportunities for organisms to survive and thrive. So there are many specialists that won’t be found outside of such areas, making them critical for sustaining the biodiversity of New York City.

Salt Marsh Meadow

Here are some of the species that I first photographed that day, most of them habitat specialists. This list is likely to change as identifications are corrected and refined.

Moon jellies (Aurelia) Pickleweed (Salicornia) - very salty