The North and South Rivers Watershed Association is helping kids discover the nature of the North River this summer. Thanks to a grant from Battelle, the NSRWA has the opportunity to take area kids on science focused trips on the organization’s pontoon boat. These tours include a professional captain and a naturalist. These 2 hour classes are divided into sections, half of the time is spent at the Spit, while the other half is on the boat. The first group to take advantage of this amazing opportunity were the students from South Shore Vocational Technical High School in Hanover.

At the Spit, a shifting sand flat mostly accessible only by boat, the students examined the life that exists in the tide pools. They had the chance to get their feet wet and explore! The kids collected a variety of animals including invasive green crabs and Asian shore crabs, sea stars, and tunicates, which are creatures that look like colorful blobs but are actually a colony of individual animals. In addition, on the walk to and from the tide pools, the students learned about dune and salt marsh habitats.

On the boat tour, the kids got to explore the diverse estuarine habitats of the North River from Route 3A to the Spit. They participated in collecting data on water quality and marine life using scientific tools. The trip offered hands-on opportunities to participate in several scientific activities, including water sampling, bottom grabs and plankton tows. The students learned about the ecology of a salt water estuary by studying the conditions found in a salt marsh, sand flats, mud flats and an exposed high-energy beach. They collected data on the salinity, oxygen levels and sediment to see how differences in those conditions affect the type of life that can survive there.

Thank you Battelle for helping students discover the nature and science of our beautiful North River!