Over the past two years, our restoration efforts with the Living Dock have faced some challenges as more of the grasses that we planted have either been chewed on by Canadian Geese or rummaged through and dug up by other, previously unidentified, creatures. Additionally, many of the ribbed mussels that seeded themselves within the dock were ending up as broken shells on the decking. Having seen a family of raccoons in the area we were suspicious that they were making good use of the dock during nocturnal foraging. This summer, NCA volunteer Patterson Beckwith setup a trail cam to try and document some of the wildlife that we believed to be visiting at night. After a few weeks, we realized that this local family of raccoons visit the dock and its adjacent shoreline nearly every evening around high tide for healthy amounts of foraging, fishing and even swimming.
We posted some choice candid raccoon moments below; see more over at our Wildlife album on Flickr.
While we are excited to know local wildlife is utilizing the Living Dock; we also realize that our salt marsh grasses and filter feeders don’t stand a chance against these curious night bandits. As such we will be exploring ways to better protect the grasses and habitat we have installed in search of peaceful cohabitation.