Fuzzy Finger Algae
The green alga Batophora oerstedii iFuzzy Finger Algae) is native to the tropical West Atlantic, from Florida and Texas to Venezuela and Caribbean Islands. It has been found in brackish coastal ponds, and eutrophic estuaries. The plant has a central axis with whorled branches, and grows up to 1400 mm long. For a casual observer, this plant somewhat resembles a miniaturized version of Eurasian Watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), a submersed flowering plant. In 2015, it was first collected in ditches and channels in the Deale Island Wildlife Management Area, on Tangier Island, in Somerset County, Maryland. It was also collected on Rumbly Point, on Pocomoke Sound. It is established and was collected as late as 2021. The occurrence of this tropical alga was published in January 2023, by John Hall and Craig Schneider in the journal Brittonia. This alga is still rare and local in Chesapeake Bay, but has the potential to become more abundant in waters receiving nutrient pollution. Possible means of introduction are ballast water, hull fouling, or accidental transport with imported fisheries products.