The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is inviting the public to attend the next Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee meeting from 9 a.m. to noon May 10 at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Lewes Field Facility, 901 Pilottown Road, Lewes.

Sea Grant Coastal Ecologist Kate Fleming and University of Delaware Associate Professor Arthur Trembanis will discuss the problem of derelict crab pots in the Inland Bays. An estimated 10% to 20% of crab traps are lost or abandoned each year for a variety of reasons, including storms and loss of buoys. The abandoned pots can create navigational hazards and continue to trap and kill various aquatic species, including crabs and terrapins. The team used a low-cost technique known as side-scan sonar to survey portions of Rehoboth Bay for derelict crab pots and monitor their condition and contents. The results of their work and efforts to address the issue in Delaware will be presented at the meeting.

“We know from past cleanup events that abandoned crab traps are out there. But we really don’t know how many there are or where, or whether they have a significant impact on marine life in the Inland Bays,” said Marianne Walch, the center’s science and restoration coordinator. “The work that Kate and Art are doing will help answer some of these questions.”

The STAC will also discuss progress on plans to develop new mathematical models of the Inland Bays to make predictions about the results of pollution inputs.

STAC meetings are an opportunity to hear presentations about the local environment and a chance to ask questions about the latest research being conducted on the Inland Bays. This committee provides objective advice and guidance to the center’s board of directors and other cooperating agencies that have interests in Delaware’s Inland Bays. A draft agenda and additional information about the committee and past meetings are available at inlandbays.org/stac.