Posts Tagged ‘University of Delaware’

Estuaries Education

This week, the interns of the refuge (me, Jenelle, and Frankie) were able to attend an Estuaries Education conference. The 3 day event is a professional development opportunity for teachers to learn more about the environment and the key roles estuaries play, focusing on the Delaware Estuary. We used the conference as a resource to learn new ways we can run our summer camps at the refuge. Day 1 was spent in Salem, New Jersey, at PSEG’s Energy and Environmental Resource Center. We had several lectures about various kinds of energy, such as nuclear, wind, and coal. We also had a lecture about the estuary and its structure, and we had a special lecture about oysters, in which we were able to open them up and examine the insides. Days 2 and 3 were spent in Delaware, learning about anything and everything relating to estuaries. We learned about horseshoe crabs, wind energy, invasive species, estuary enhancement, and oil spill clean up. It of course decided to rain our entire trip, but we still managed to do all of our activities. We went on a tour of an emergency oil spill clean up boat, where we talked firsthand to the operators of the ship. We also went onto the beach–in an absolute downpour–with two University of Delaware grad students, who showed us how to seine the water, and identify what we found. As we walked along the beach, I saw my very first horseshoe crab! It was a male, flipped over in the surf. We were able to examine him, then set him free in the water. We caught a bunch of stuff in the net, as well. There were at least 10 blue crabs, one of which was wrapped up in fishing line. Someone had a pair of scissors, so we were able to cut it loose. There was also a bunch of mummichogs (a little fish), and a big flounder. It was crazy; the net was only walked out about 10 feet from the shore–if that–yet we were able to see so much.

nuclear display

nuclear display

oysters

oysters

fiddler crab!

fiddler crab!

a horseshoe crab shell on the beach

a horseshoe crab shell on the beach

more oysters!

more oysters!

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pseg visitor center

pseg visitor center

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