Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Crustacean Celebration!

The summer programming for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay has kicked off with an abundance of invertebrates at Piers Park and Courageous Sailing Center. Despite the heat, we were still able to have a great time by the harbor!

At Piers Park in East Boston, fun was had learning about the importance of cleaning up after yourself in order to keep the harbor clean. Along with learning the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling, we headed down to the floating dock to interact with the harbor. Crab traps were deployed, kayaks were launched, and fishing rods were cast (with no success). Several species of crab were caught, such as rock crabs, green crabs, and spider crabs. We were able to educate the kids on how to tell the difference between a female and male crab as well as the correct technique to hold them to avoid their formidable claws. This brought up conversations of invasive species when handling the green crabs and how introduced species can be detrimental to the health of an ecosystem. The alien looking spider crabs caught the attention of the harbor explorers and gave us the opportunity to discuss the importance of camouflage for many species in the harbor.

Entertaining lobster questions
On Tuesday, we went into Charlestown to work with Courageous Sailing Center. Fish printing stations were set up with flounder and a skate. This gave us the opportunity to ask the kids what they knew about the harbor and the effort that went into making it healthy again. Down on the floating dock a lobster pot was pulled and produced a legal sized lobster. This drew the excitement of all of those on the pier. Banded for safety, the lobster was put into a touch tank and was the subject of extraordinary questions about the habits of lobsters, their physiology, and the incredibly important lobster fishery. A slew of green crabs were the only thing caught on the fishing rods, but still sparked the interest of many wanting to learn about the organisms of Boston Harbor’s coastlines.
Close up of the lobster

So far, the program has been great for all involved, allowing the Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and the kids to learn new things about the harbor they live so close to.

Sea you soon!


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