Last Wednesday, New York Harbor School’s Harbor SEALs kicked off their first day of full scale monitoring for the Hudson River Estuary Water/Air Quality Monitoring Program. We had a total of 21 volunteers working the jam packed schedule. In all, 4 different localities were sampled at exactly the same time in order to compare water conditions and determine the influence of the currents from the different bodies of water flowing through the Battery. We thank all the volunteers – adults and children who participated. We also thank the EPA for its support of this important project. We are in the process of developing a page on this site to post the data.
Additionally, last week our 11th grade Marine Biology Research students found a nauplius larva during their weekly sampling run at Pier 101. With a water temperature of 4 C and winter in full force, we were surprised to see that the Harbor is preparing for an early spring. Can you identify what Infraclass of organisms it belongs to? E-mail your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. The first correct answer will win a prize (high school students only, sorry;).
The main focus of the MBRP and Harbor SEALs is for high school students to work on real scientific research projects. Projects, such as the ones being worked on by 12th graders Stephanie Rodriguez, Jasmine Hernandez, and Tony Fernandez, span all of the academic subjects students are required to complete in high school while giving them invaluable first hand, experiential learning that stays with them for the rest of their lives. Jasmine and Stephanie have been experimenting with the effects of various types of nutrients on plants to better understand the nature of eutrophication of the Hudson River Estuary, plant physiology, and the project management process. Since last year, they have been putting together their projects from scratch. From constructing the growth support system to data collection and analysis to presenting their results professionally in front of an audience, they have set the gears of the program into motion. One or more of the skills they are practicing will transfer directly into their post secondary education and professional careers. All of these skills will transfer into their personal lives. We wish them the best of success. (For more images click here.)
So far this year the 10th grade Marine Biology Research students have done a great job of working together to produce exceptional results. Putting together Aquatic Ecosystem Models, they’ve begun to learn the basics of water chemistry, physics, and ecology. From jump starting the nitrification cycle in their Models by adding ammonium chloride and nitrifying bacteria to adding terrestrial plants for nitrate removal, these future environmental scientists are learning what it takes to keep an ecosystem healthy from the bottom up. Once these students have mastered keeping their Ecosystems healthy they’ll start formulating projects around the Hudson River Estuary to apply their skills to the real world. Continue here.
On October 13 the Harbor SEALs, in collaboration with NYC urban ecologists and students from other NYHS CTE programs, planted about 20 “tortillas” of eel grass off of a decaying Brooklyn pier. These “tortillas” are made of cut-out burlap about 10 to 12 inches in diameter with 10 Eel grass individuals woven between the material in a concentric pattern. The team set up 6 stations with between 3 and 4 “tortillas per station, detailed GPS points were taken of each station, sedimentation rate was measured, and water quality monitoring was performed. It was another great day of environmental and team work under the NYC sun. (For more information click here.)
Civic Scientist Environmental Monitoring of the Hudson-Raritan Estuary