Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Elkton High School Trip Report

Photo by Adelma Gregory-Bunnell
By Adelma Gregory-Bunnellagregory@cecilwhig.com | 0 comments
Snorkeling in the Big Elk Creek is not a very common activity, but passersby in Elkton on Friday probably noticed some swimmers.
Elkton High School ninth graders Justin Dzie and Maya Price were snorkeling in the creek as part of their environmental science class for teacher Rachael Coffey.
They were counting types and numbers of fish, as well as how erosion and biodiversity are affecting the fish as part of a curriculum with North Bay education director Keith Williams and a few members of his staff.
“Part of the curriculum is to have a positive impact on the Chesapeake Bay, and what we do here at the creek ultimately impacts the bay, our food source and our recreational activities,” Coffey said.
Coffey said her class was investigating the biodiversity of the creek and how much life it contains.
“The more diversity there is, the healthier the creek,” she added. “We found mayfly larvae and larvae of the dragonfly, which indicates that the creek is pretty clean.”
The class also looked at erosion in the creek caused by buildings in the area, Coffey said.
“That’s what the islands are from, extra erosion, and when you have lots of erosion, you lose the diversity,” she said.
Dzie and Price both saw an eel with a blue ring around it along with several schools of fish, a few bass and some bigger fish in the water.
The previous week, the class went to the creek and did some observations of the erosion. Some bio-diversity was found but not near what the students had expected, Coffey said. They also tracked native versus non-native plants in the area.
They also placed onion bags last week in hopes to catch some insects in them as well.
The students will gather all the information that was collected over the last three weeks and then present their findings to other students.
“I think we are doing our part to keep it clean,” Price said.

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