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WAMC New York News
Tue October 13, 2009
A Day in the Life of the Hudson River
By Dave Lucas
Selkirk, NY – More than 3,000 students and educators from New York Harbor to Schuylerville participated thursday in the seventh annual "A Day in the Life of the Hudson River" field program, an event hosted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
The event aims to educate Hudson Valley residents about the ecology of the river through innovative and engaging public programs and through the development of a K-12 curriculum.
Environmental education centers and school classes all along the Hudson River estuary collected scientific information by sampling the estuary's waters at 61 sites and shared it to create a picture of "A Day in the Life of the Hudson River."
"The always popular 'Day in the Life of the Hudson River' field program thrives on partnerships between schools, state agencies and environmental organizations throughout the Hudson Valley," said DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis. "The program addresses two important DEC priorities: connecting New Yorkers to nature, and fostering green and healthy communities."
Sponsored by DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program, and run in conjunction with Hudson Basin River Watch, "A Day in the Life of the Hudson River" coincides with National Estuaries Day, which celebrates these remarkably productive and valuable ecosystems. From New York Harbor to the Capital Region, the Hudson River estuary nurtures an incredible diversity of plants, animals, fish species and habitats, and is the setting for some of the nation's most important environmental improvements over the last four decades.
Students worked on the river collecting scientific information to create snapshots of the waterbody at dozens of locations. Using Web-based distance learning video technology, students will have follow-up opportunities to share their data to enable them to better understand how their piece of the river fits into the larger Hudson estuary ecosystem. At the various locations, Teams of students and environmental educators examined the river using special tools and equipment to investigate the variety and number of fish, the types of aquatic plants, algae and phytoplankton present, the temperature and pH of the water, and the concentration of key chemical components.
Some of the findings will contribute to ongoing research projects. Data from the event also is incorporated into the curriculum developed by the Hudson River Estuary Program, which is available to all teachers in the Hudson Valley. The data will be posted within two weeks on the "A Day in the Life of the Hudson River" webpage. The first installment of a standards-driven, place-based, and interdisciplinary K-12 curriculum centered on the Hudson River is available free online.
Promoting public understanding of the Hudson River is one of 12 goals in the Hudson River Estuary Program's Action Agenda. Since 1999, Estuary Program grants have helped more than 100 projects to develop a network of environmental education centers along the Hudson with high- quality exhibits, facilities and programming. In addition to coordinating river-wide efforts like the "Day in the Life of the River," the estuary program provides teacher training in workshops, curriculum for grades 3-5 being used in at least 22 elementary schools, and a variety of other resources for educators.
Detailed information on the event and it's history...