Friday, August 13, 2021

Fishing, a Youth Cruise, and a Lesson on Invasive Species

This week was super fun! On Monday, we had a speaker, Ruthzee Louijeune talk to us on zoom about her campaign for City Councilor at-large and how she got to where she is today. It was really interesting to hear about her experiences and I was glad that she spoke with us. Tuesday was the fishing derby. It was pretty fun, even though we didn't catch many fish on my boat. However, I was still able to bring home some fish, thanks to the other groups, and my family enjoyed it!

On Wednesday, my group met with a park ranger at Rowes Wharf on the harbor to learn about invasive species, which I also found pretty interesting. We found a lot of tunicates, sea lettuce, red algae, and a few other types of invasive species. We also learned about native species that are similar to the non-native ones that we found. 

The view from the side of the dock

Tunicates are a group of invertebrate marine animals, commonly known as sea squirts. They live in saltwater and spend most of their lives attached to hard surfaces, such as docks, rocks, and the undersides of boats. They eat plankton and are able to live by drawing seawater through their bodies. They can be either solitary or colonial, and there are about 3,000 species of tunicates. Some of the invasive species found in New England that we looked for included the European sea squirt, club tunicate, sheath tunicate, mystery colonial tunicate, and disploma tunicate.

Sea lettuce is a group of edible green algae that is found growing on rocky seashores around the world. And red algae are usually found attached to shore plants. They are important, because they are primary producers and can provide a structural habitat for other marine organisms. They also play a role in the establishment and maintenance of coral reefs.

Later in the day, we went on the youth cruise, where we met with four other programs made up of youth that also focus on the environment and preventing climate change. It was interesting to visit each table and hear what their programs were like and how they were similar to Save the Harbor. I also liked learning about the different ways that each program is helping the environment.

On Thursday, my group walked around a park in the North End that was made to withstand the rising sea levels. There was a boardwalk that was built pretty high above the sea level, along with the rest of the park. It also had a basketball court that was made of a material that is supposed to drain water in the event of a flood. It was pretty hot out, so we ended up going to the Copley Library to work on our deliverable after. 
I had a lot of fun this week! See you next week as we approach the end of the summer.
- Grace

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