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Jay Lazar is a Physical Scientist and Field Program Coordinator with the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office in the Office of Habitat Conservation in NOAA Fisheries.
Number of years working with NOAA:
NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, Annapolis, Maryland
Describe your role or a project related to habitat that you are currently working on at NOAA.
I support a multiagency effort to restore sustainable populations and ecologically valuable habitat for the native Eastern oyster in the Chesapeake Bay. Using bathymetric sonar, my team locates the best places to restore habitat, and then monitors the habitat structure following restoration.
What habitat work has been especially inspiring to you?
The large-scale oyster restoration effort in the Choptank River Habitat Focus Area is showing great promise over the past two years of monitoringIt is noteworthy how well the stone reefs are doing with respect to oyster production over any other treatment.
Describe a time when you were surprised by fish and/or habitat.
The surprise thus far is the rate at which stone reefs are providing additional habitat value for several other colonizing and water filtering species, as well as habitat for resident finfish and biota.
What person has expanded your understanding or connection to habitat?
There are professors who sparked my interest in marine science, and a friend who cultured my love of nature, but I give my NOAA colleague, Steve Giordano, a lot of credit for creating a space at NOAA where I could apply my background in acoustic mapping to improving habitat outcomes for our work.