5th Grade Students Gain First Hand Knowledge of the Merrimack River Watershed
Last week 5th grade students traveled to Plum Island where they boarded Captain’s Lady II to get a bird’s eye view of their watershed. Instructors from Merrohawke’s Boat Camp provided their expertise and guided students through 6 stations to gain a better understanding of the inter-connectedness of the estuarine system.
Data is collected and analyzed at the 6 different stations. The stations are similar to investigations scientist conduct in order to determine the health of the aquatic ecosystem. The stations include; navigation, water quality (temperature and salinity), Secchi disk (used to determine turbidity), Eckman Dredge (used to collect a bottom sample), plankton tow, and a “touch tank” (examine common organisms found in the watershed).
Students used a plankton net to collect plankton samples from the river and the ocean. On Thurs. June 12 and Mon. June 16th we noticed a significant increase in zooplankton – safe to say that a plankton bloom occurred sometime between Wed. the 11th and Thurs. am!