Sunday, May 10, 2009
The Shimmering Shoals...
This first panel of the series of twelve panels I have created over the past eight months or so features images which flourish within the first two sections of the Ogden Point Breakwater.
The semi-protected sandy beds of eelgrass and the intertidal seaweed zone along the first third of the Breakwater combine to form a productive habitat sheltering the young larvae and juvenile forms of many coastal animals.
Situated in the well-illuminated and warm photic zone, these beds of plants provide organic material which nurtures the associated kelp forests and rocky animal communities nearby. The densely matted roots of the eelgrass add stability and permanence to the normally motile sand grains, and with time, rich layers of mud build up.
Productivity is further enhanced by the rich plankton drifting through. One can observe the life forms sheltered among the waving fronds of eelgrass and seaweed, including vast aggregations of shrimps, crabs and their larvae and large schools of herring and sandlance - essential food for Breakwater fishes such as the Staghorn Sculpin, Striped Seaperch and juvenile Lingcod.
The seascape illustrated on this plaque stretches for about 110 metres to the second bend of the Breakwater. From here, the sandy bottom slopes gently to a depth of 20 metres.
This illustration allows you to understand and explore the complex seawall environment, where the spatial structure of the granite blocks, rocky rubble, kelp forest and sandy base create multiple microhabitats for communities of plants and animals.
Many of these populations vary dramatically over the seasons, showing bursts of growth and reproduction. A diver can easily spend many happy hours surveying the whole area or studying in detail the myriad lifestyles of the breakwater’s fascinating inhabitants.
The entire series of twelve panels will be installed and dedicated June 19th, 2009.
Our thanks to Scott Stevenson for his photography work on this panel and to Western Stevedoring for their sponsorship.
For more information, please contact me at email@example.com