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ESL Docks


The ESL is located on 4.3 acres in the coastal fishing village of Wachapreague, VA. The main administration building houses offices for the resident staff and the hub for the computing network. A local area computer network supports a central database management system, GIS capabilities, image analysis, and high-speed Internet access.

A 3,200-sf building provides office, laboratory, and classroom space for visiting users of the facility. A library, conference room, and classroom serve visiting classes, researchers, and resident staff. A teaching laboratory with workstations for 30 students is equipped with dissecting and compound microscopes and standard lab ware. Lab bench space is available in a common-use equipment room, which contains a UV/visible spectrophotometer, fluorometer, light microscopes, an image-analysis system, and balances. Other features include a fume hood, environmental chambers, and -20C freezers.

A hallmark of the ESL is a large flexible seawater system for husbandry of live marine and estuarine organisms. Approximately 50 flowing seawater tables are located at the facility, some inside and others outdoors. Tanks of various sizes are available for use in either flow-through or recirculating modes. A seawater quarantine system provides the capability to conduct work on nonindigenous species. A 5-meter long recirculating seawater flume is available for controlled flow experiments. This flume features steady 2-dimensional flow for modeling benthic boundary layer conditions. Temperature control and several filtration options permit researchers to control seawater conditions within the flume. An acoustic Doppler velocimeter is available for characterizing velocity and turbulence structure within the flume.

The ESL maintains a fleet of small vessels for research and educational activities. The emphasis in the fleet is on small, shallow draft vessels that provide easy access to shallow-water habitats along the seaside and bayside of the Eastern Shore. Sampling gear available with these vessels include dredges, trawls, gill nets, and plankton nets. Some vessels are equipped with booms and power winches for retrieval of heavier gear.

Our dormitories can accommodate up to 38 and includes some private and semi-private rooms as well as bunkrooms. Kitchen and dining facilities are available for use by guests. Full handicap access is provided in both dorms.

Questions? Contact the webmaster.