Seventh- and Eighth-Grade Norte engaged in a hands-on examination of the Bronx River with Rocking the Boat this week. While working together to row wooden Whitehall 14s, students spied schools of fish, colonies of mussels and barnacles, and great blue herons. In addition, they examined several environmental restoration projects including oyster colonies and eel mops. Students and teachers also donned waders to seine for fish and crabs before identifying their catch using a dichotomous key.
This field study allowed students to examine the complex interactions between members of this estuarine environment in their natural habitat and discuss how species diversity promotes resilient ecosystems. Students also explored the influence of anthropogenic impacts on the environment, including the dredging of the river, the draining of the marshes and the restoration work currently underway. The annual Rocking the Boat trip ties into our students' ongoing study of ecosystems and fosters exploration and team-building.
Rocking the Boat was founded by MCS alumnus Adam Green '87. In addition to hosting school groups and offering apprenticeships for high school students in boat building, environmental education and sailing, the organization hosts free community rowing and sailing days on the Bronx River between Memorial Day and Labor Day.