A Day in the Life of the Peconic Estuary

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Photos courtesy of Jessica Sadecki and Kimberly Belkin
Photos courtesy of Jessica Sadecki and Kimberly Belkin

Students got their feet wet, literally, doing some scientific field testing last Friday. Springs School was the furthest school east to take part in a water quality testing project for the Central Pine Barrens Commission which coordinates the program with the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Suffolk County Water Authority, and the State Department of Environmental Conservation. Fifth graders and seventh graders joined science teachers Sean Knight and Rob Walker at Louse Point and Lazy Point beaches to collect water samples, measure wind temperature and speed, and study the aquatic life native to these waters. Other schools studied the Connetquot River and the Nissequogue River. Students will share their scientific findings with the Commission and Brookhaven Lab.

The "A Day in the Life" program began in 2011 and since then, Springs School is one of the 37 schools in Suffolk County now taking part in this research. The day is more than just a "field trip" - it allows students to collect first-hand information about their communities, gain knowledge about natural resources, and explore how the estuary fits into the larger ecosystem of Long Island. Students used kits to study nitrate, phosphate, dissolved oxygen, and salinity levels in the water, and enter this data into an online database which then can be used to compare findings from previous years. Research findings can be found by clicking here