Coastal ocean dynamics and primary productivity near traditional indigenous clam gardens in Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
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Along the Pacific coasts of British Columbia and Alaska, it has recently been recognized that Indigenous communities traditionally built and maintained clam gardens in the intertidal zone by clearing rocks, aerating sediments, and/or building rock walls. This thesis research involves the measurement of water properties and phytoplankton biomass near clam gardens in the Fulford Harbor, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia area for the purpose of investigating temporal and spatial variability over two years to provide insights into coastal ocean dynamics and seasonal phytoplankton biomass in the area. Additionally, the viability of the SonTek CastAway CTD probe as a useful and economical tool for monitoring in these areas is evaluated. To my knowledge, this research is the first ever study of local coastal ocean dynamics at the site of ancient clam gardens, adding to the growing body of research and complementing the existing Traditional Ecological Knowledge of these eco-cultural landscapes.
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