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7th Grade: Two Ecosystems in One Day

On Friday, October 20th, the 7th graders doubled their wind and water feel of Long Island by visiting both the Bay and Atlantic coastal ecosystems. Both are a short walk apart from The Teddy Roosevelt Nature Center at the nearby barrier island of Jones Beach State Park. Here the 7th Grade experienced the calm tides of the Bay, while discovering hermit crabs, skates, Mermaid’s Purses, bayberries and soda straw and parchment worms. On the windswept Atlantic side the students discovered the wrackline, followed by the dunes, swale, salt marsh,  and the Piping Plover nesting area, where they they collected shells: whelks, clams and Blue Mussels.  Later, at the Nature Center, the students visited with screech owls and hognose snakes. A takeaway for sure is “Never bury your trash at the beach!” The D.I.P. (Decompose into Pieces) “graveyard” created by the staff lists the following: Aluminum cans take 200 to 400 years to decompose and plastic needs 500 years! The field trip on an exceptionally warm day in Fall, was part of the 7th Grade’s Science and Environmental Awareness class.