Ecological studies on benthic and planktonic assemblages in lower Delaware Bay

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College of Marine Studies University of Delaware, Lewes, Delaware
This study was undertaken to obtain baseline ecological data in Delaware Bay. During the summers of 1972 and 1973 the first bay-wide quantitative survey of benthic organisms was conducted. The survey consisted of 207 samples distributed over 26 transects from the bay mouth to Woodland Beach, Delaware. Based on the results of the bay-wide survey reported herein, it was decided to conduct an intensive study in the oil lightering area in lower Delaware Bay (1974-1975). The intensive study included quantitative monthly investigations of phytoplankton and zooplankton together with quarterly investigations of the benthos. Two 12hour plankton studies were also conducted. In addition to the quantitative benthic studies, there were extensive samples with dredge hauls. Data from dredge hauls and grabs were compared to determine whether a useful method of community analysis could be developed based on dredge data alone. It was concluded, that such a method was feasible but that it required additional refinement. Some of the survey data were never reported for Delaware Bay prior to this study.
Benthic invertebrate assemblages, Impact of human activities, Crude oil, Refineries, Marine Animals -- Delaware Bay, Marine Animals -- Delaware Bay