Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sea Stars and Tunicates and Mussels, Oh My!

Our first sea star at Georg's Island

Wednesday and Thursday were another great few days spent on George’s Island. I was still on sports duty and spent the days gathering kids to play with us near the fort. On Wednesday, Kharliyah and Vince started a game of kickball while Patrice played football with a group of campers. Even adults were lured in by a friendly game of football leading to groups of campers playing island visitors. It was fun for everyone! After we were worn down from sports, we made our way back to the boat to find that our fishing group had come across a beautiful purple sea star! The kids on the dock gathered around as I taught them about echinoderms and how a sea star can grow an arm back if it loses one. “Just like a crab!” one child replied and told me that he had learned all about crabs while fishing with Save the Harbor that day.

Qalid helping a young sailor with fish printing
On Friday, I attended Courageous Sailing Center with Ana, Qalid, and Vince. We were teaching all new sailors today so we gave them a brief history of the health of the Harbor. We discussed Deer Island and played From Your Sink to the Boston Harbor which is an interactive lesson on the water treatment plant and all of its components. The kids couldn’t stop laughing at each other as they pretended to be a flushing toilet or a chlorine squirt gun. Next, we moved on to fish printing and fishing. All of the children loved poking and petting the flounder we were printing. They just could not believe we were painting a real fish! At the end of our lesson, we all walked onto the dock and pulled up our crab traps. One trap was tangled in seaweed and it took all four of us to pull it up onto the dock. It was the perfect opportunity for a sea shanty! Our traps were mostly full of feisty green crabs, though a mussel bed did start to form on the outside of one trap. I showed the children the byssal threads that were created by the mussels and showed the kids just how strong a mussel can be. We also caught a group of tunicates and the children enjoyed squishing those sea squirts. 

Overall, it was another successful week with Save the Harbor, Save the Bay! I can’t wait to do it all
again next week.

Sea you out there,

Jennifer Leiendecker

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