Contributors Lauren Bunn, Lydia Kowalski, and Claudia Schreier
16 August 2019
The Sedge Island Marine Conservation Zone (SIMCZ) in Ocean County, New Jersey provides a protected habitat for a number of estuarine species in the Barnegat Bay. For ten nonconsecutive days in June, July, and August of 2019, students affiliated with Save Barnegat Bay surveyed species both inside the SIMCZ in order to understand the biodiversity. Collected species were counted and measured; the study also analyzed three substrate types- submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) beds, macroalgae, and bare bottom – in order to determine species diversity in different habitats. The Simpson’s Biodiversity Index for the habitats both inside and outside ranged from 0.752 to 0.855. It was found that the bare bottom habitat outside the conservation zone had the highest biodiversity, while bare bottom habitat inside the zone had the lowest.