American Lobster, Gloucester, Massachusetts
This American Lobster (homarus americanus) was photographed in 15 feet of water in Plum Cove, Gloucester, Massachusetts during an eelgrass monitoring survey.
Too much nitrogen in our coastal waters is a major environmental challenge that EPA is currently studying. Nitrogen comes from both manmade and natural sources and too much or overenrichment in the marine environment can be harmful for marine life.
New England's dive team does a lot of work with eelgrass (zostera marina), because it is an excellent indicator of water quality. Just like fertilizers that help plants grow on land, nitrogen in the water can cause excessive plant growth, or eutrophication.
Due to its high sensitivity to changes in water clarity and nitrogen concentrations, eelgrass is an excellent indicator of environmental conditions.
By tracking changes in the eelgrass, we gain better knowledge about the needed changes in water quality.
"While out collecting this type of data, we always bring our underwater camera for possible photo opportunities such as this shy lobster." ~Phil Colarusso, U.S. EPA