Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The World is Our Oyster Part Deux

As with anything...timing is everything.  

2 days ago, my "guest blog" article "The World is Our Oyster" ran in  That day too at school, our science teacher Tim Decker gave my class a grand announcement:  Chesapeake Bay Foundation had an open-spot for today for us to release our oyster spat we'd been raising this year.  With a forecast for near 70 degrees, who could argue with that plan, even if it was only 2 days notice??  So dressed in our layers and life jackets, we met the boat at our dock for a day on the Magothy River.  

Oyster Graduation Day was here!
It was a full day!  With Captain Dave & Tiffany we talked phytoplankton & zooplankton, even "catching" some of the latter and taking a close-up look in some viewing scopes.  We trawled for fish, catching 7 perch (and returning them to sea, of course, but not until after we sketched their fins to learn more about what that tells us). During our ship-board picnic, we talked about the Plastiki & the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch, and all we had to do was look around at the wealth that surrounded us to know why we needed to have a firm grasp on our chip bags, granola wraps & reusable containers!)
We listed all the critters we encountered along the way.  We donned binoculars to spy osprey & the bald eagle nest on Gibson Island...complete with a bald eagle perched nearby!  Some of my boys were remarking how they'd never ever seen one "live and in person."  This of course was a double treat as our students were still getting used to our 2-month old new name:  Eagle Cove School.
Then there were the oysters.  We measured the salinity, the dissolved oxygen, and found the right depth and the right hard shelled sea bottom of the river.  Then we said our goodbyes and sent the oysters overboard to join many others in the protected oyster sanctuary.  All the while, math skills were at play, as were our spelling, map reading, critical thinking, and teamwork skills.
Did you know that one adult oyster can filter about 50 gallons of water in one day?  To learn even more about oysters, click on the title above to visit Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Oyster Fact Sheet (or go to  

Yep, the world was our oyster once again today! 

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