Monday, July 22, 2019

InSEINE Week at Black's Creek and the Curley

It’s Maggie, and I’m back to report on our second full week with Save The Harbor. We had an exciting second week out at Black’s Creek and at the Curley Community Center in South Boston. Coincidentally, I worked at the Curley almost all of my summers in high school so I am very familiar with the environment, the staff, and the kids that continuously come back every summer for fun days in the sun! 

This week at Black’s Creek was similar to last, but my fellow Save The Harbor Educators are becoming more comfortable with the kids, and we are becoming more comfortable with each other. This week at Black’s Creek we got to use the Seine net which is something that the kids were very excited about. A Seine net is a large net with two posts that two of our educators walk through the water with in hopes of finding critters that our kids may not be able to just scoop out of the water at knee depth. I used the Seine net with Che, and I must say it is a gnarly process. Because Black’s Creek is a marsh, the seafloor is not so pleasant to be walking around on. Although we wore water shoes, the murky water and the mushy floor makes using the Seine net a little bit icky! Although sinking into the marsh floor is not something that sounds appealing, the look on the kids faces and the satisfaction of catching critters they have not seen before makes it all worth it. 

Che and I doing the Seine net at Black's Creek. 

A nice view of where we teach the kids how to fish at the Curley Commmunity
Center in South Boston! 
After our short days at Black’s Creek, we head right on over to the Curley to teach the kids about fishing and clamming. The first day was a little chaotic, with fishing lines being swung around and the kids not being familiar with the techniques, so we decided to come up with a system. We took two of the fishing rods and removed the hooks, so that way we would have a test system. We would let the kids cast their lines without the hooks and prove to us that they were capable of casting their lines in a safe manner! This system worked perfectly, and being able to see the progress of the kid’s skills in just one session was great! We have only been able to catch crabs at the Curley with the rods, but we are hoping to one day catch something bigger! 

Because we are on a marsh for most of the week, I thought it would be interesting to share some knowledge of the importance of marshes in our ecosystem and what they do for humans and the animals in the salt water. Wetlands are one of the most highly productive ecosystems in the world. Wetlands provide ecosystem services such as flood control, shoreline erosion control, and water quality improvement. Wetlands are also the home for many endangered species in the United States. It is important to preserve and take care of places like Black’s Creek and educate the public, more importantly the youth, about how important it is to respect these marshes and creeks. The issue of pollution in the world, but more specifically in the United States has been out of control for decades. If you haven’t heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch-- go take a look! It might make you think a little bit differently about what you are throwing away on a daily basis, what you aren’t recycling, and even what you are purchasing at the grocery store. So much of what we consume on an everyday basis ends up in landfills and in our oceans. If we can make an effort to recycle more of the plastics we buy, use reusable water bottle, buy a reusable straw, bring a mug to a coffee shop in the morning instead of using the plastic ones they give out, bringing reusable bags with you food shopping, or even looking more closely to the items you are buying in the grocery store to make sure you are buying compostable or recyclable plastic, you could make a huge difference. The average American takes home almost 1500 plastic shopping bags a year, and only 1% of those plastic bags are returned for recycling. All of this trash and pollution ends up somewhere else, and it takes at least 500 years for each one of those plastic bags to decompose. Our oceans and marshes are highly important to our ecosystem and the way the world’s environment works. The ecosystem services the water provides for us humans are crucial to our lifestyles. You could make a small difference and encourage your friends to do so, and that will be a big change in the direction our planet is headed! 

See you next week!

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