Student-Scientists Aid in Restoration of Local Waterways

Student-Scientists Aid in Restoration of Local Waterways photo
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Last October, Sachem High School North students in Monica Marlow’s Advanced Placement Environmental Science class attended a field trip at Sunken Meadow State Park to monitor and aid in an estuary restoration. 

Working with Long Island Sound Study, New York Sea Grant, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Parks and Save the Sound since 2010, students collected baseline data prior to and have been monitoring the progress since a dam was removed in 2012 to restore tidal flow to 132 acres of estuary habitat.

Alongside agency professionals, students tested water quality and samples for organisms and caught numerous fish, including baby flounder, sea robin and blackfish. The presence of these species serves as a great indicator of the success of the restoration project thus far. 

“I see tremendous value in involving our students in this long-term project,” Marlow said. “It provides a memorable opportunity to engage in hands-on learning and generate excitement for the AP curriculum, as well as help students take ownership and responsibility for our local waterways.”  

The students will be presenting their data at the Open Space Stewardship Program celebration at Brookhaven National Laboratory this spring. The conference provides students an excellent opportunity to interact with professional scientists and other motivated high school students in the environmental science field.