Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oyster Release: An Annual Tradition

 I'm not sure how it is that a week has gone by already since we had our Triple Crown Week o'Eco-Trips.  Each trip (in and of itself) was amazing.  The sum total was downright incredible!

[Note to self:  Track back with me to see our art/bridge study trip at the Chesapeake Bay & our outdoor adventures with Grace Episcopal Day School.]

Trip #3 involved a school-side dock pick up, a boat arrival and departure, and gathering up our containers of oyster spat that my class has been raising all year in science.  Our day-long chariot was a Chesapeake Bay Foundation vessel captained by Bart and First Mate Tiffany, who also served as our onboard educators.  Bart & Tiffany helped us find the necessary elements for our baby oysters so we could find a safe home to release them into the river, so they could do their job of filtering the bay.

We trekked down the Magothy River to discover the location of the hidden oyster sanctuary, somewhere beneath us in a watery world. 

We charted maps. 

 We used the depth finder to monitor what lie beneath us.  We measured salinity (which, by the way, is measured in "parts per thousandths" [ppt].

We collected some fish....and we had to "heave" and "hoe" and literally tote the line to pull them in.  We studied them, held them, even kissed a fish or two before it was time to send them back to the sea.

And then the moment we'd been waiting for:  we released the oysters. 

We said our fond good byes, named the li'l fellas (or fillies),
and sent them off to their new homes, overboard!
 As we were trekking back to school, sun warm on our faces, it was also like a trip down memory lane for me.  Each year, our crop of oyster spat and my crop of third graders is new and ever-changing; but, for me, it's like coming home to a warm and familiar place.

Mmmm, yes...feel that warmth! 
To take that trip with me, revisiting a history of ECS/GTG oyster releases, take some time to meander down memory lane here:

~ Tippy Canoe & Oysters Too ~ June 6, 2011

~ The World Is Our Oyster ~ March 29, 2010

Images a la moi, from our May 11th sea adventure!

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