Sixth Grade Marine Science Trip

On Thursday, May 18 the Sixth Grade Marine Science class made their annual trip into Long Island Sound on the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium's research vessel Spirit of the Sound. On board the nation's first hybrid electric research vessel, students learned about marine charts and how Long Island Sound was formed. They reviewed class information about estuaries, plankton, and the adaptations of several Long Island Sound creatures that help them survive in their estuarine habitat. Students assisted the crew in a plankton tow, inventoried the catch from a "bio dredge", helped pull in the otter trawl net, and measured the creatures for a population survey. Creatures caught include: various species of animal plankton (viewed on the ship's big screen digital microscope), slipper snails, quahogs (clams), chocolate-fingered mud crabs, bryozoans, sulfur boring sponge, red bearded sponge, channeled whelk, flat-clawed hermit crabs, polychaete worms (talked about during our fall trips to Cove, but never seen!), spider crabs, horseshoe crabs, sea robins, and flounder. It was a wonderful way to revisit the topics from the Fall curriculum, and a good time was had by all!

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