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Montrose, NY—Blue Mountain Middle School Science teacher Sean Bugara and eight students, members of the school’s SEAL (Search, Explore, Analyze, and Learn) team, took part in the 10th annual “A Day in the Life of the Hudson River” on Oct. 4. The students who attended were Alexandra Lenz, J.D. Page, Margaret Gruber, Todd Siesel, Lila Trepp, Paul Hartigan, Mackenzie Porter and Alexander Lagos.
“When I found out I was invited to this trip I was so happy to have this opportunity. I enjoyed everything we did, from going in the water to helping doing different tests. Thank you for inviting us to this wonderful trip,” said Mackenzie Porter.
The annual event, on the banks of the Hudson River, is designed to collect data on the physical and biological health of the river, while educating students about the importance of the river to the local ecology. Each year, students converge on the shore and take part in a series of activities to collect water samples from the river that will help determine everything from the river’s pH level to its salinity.
Student scientists waded waist deep in the chilly water to collect samples of marine life and water off the shores of Peekskill’s Riverfront Green. Blue Mountain students successfully collected about a dozen healthy fish, which now happily reside in the Hudson River Estuary Tank in Bugara’s classroom that mimics the conditions of the river. Classroom species include a Pumpkin seed fish, Red Breasted sunfish, Blue Gills, Banded Killi Fish, and Atlantic Silver Sides.
According to Bugara, “Our students took part in this event to collect and contribute data to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation findings. Hands-on field work is one of the best ways to learn science. This event gave us the opportunity to be citizen scientists, becoming part of the solution to local environmental problems.”At the conclusion of the trip Margaret Gruber remarked, “It was a fascinating experience. It was a good opportunity to learn about the Hudson, and I hope more students will be able to go next year.”