Day in the life of the Saw Kill

Last Thursday we participated in Day in the Life of the Hudson Estuary. This is an event that takes place all up and down the Hudson River to get communities out and learning about their watershed. Hundreds of school kids were out on the river, observing, doing science, having fun, and capturing a “snapshot” of what the river was like from NYC to Troy on this particular day.

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Red Hook high schoolers and volunteers singing about the estuary! Highhhh tide looooow tide!

We participated at Bard College on the site of where the Saw Kill flows in to Tivoli Bays. We had Red Hook high schoolers come to campus to learn from wonderful and enthusiastic student and community member volunteers.  We taught a total of 5 stations all focused on understanding the Saw Kill and the Hudson River.

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Fish station!

In water chemistry we took a look at PH, Dissolved Oxygen and temperature. We had fun comparing kit results with the YSI (a digital water quality probe). Another station looked at aquatic life- a great opportunity to get kids in waders as they seined for fish such as sunfish, tessellated darter, stickleback, and a juvenile striped bass–we also found crawdads! The muck group got to dig and splash around as they examined sediment and turbidity. The observation station looked for birds, showed off their artistic talents, and recorded the different trains and tug and barges that passed by. Lastly the watershed group got to discuss how our Saw Kill watershed connects to the larger Hudson River watershed, and compare it to watersheds around the world, like the Volga River, for local to global connections!

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Seining for fish

It was a beautiful day on the river. We sang songs, went on a hike, and engaged with science. There was a lot of good learning done, as well as a lot of fun had in the process. Thank you to all of the volunteers for their time and energy, and thank you to the Red Hook high schools for their enthusiasm! Hope to see you all again out in the watershed!

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Blog post by Tierney W and Photos by Tom O’Dowd

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