Middle Schoolers Spend a Day of Science at Carlls River

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Strong winds and cooler temperatures didn’t deter 38 eighth-graders from AnnMarie Mills’ Islip Middle School life science class from participating in the recent annual “A Day in the Life of the Carlls River” event. With the help of natural resource experts and several other middle school teachers, the students engaged in hands-on citizen science exploration at the Carlls River in Babylon.

During the event, students explored and collected firsthand information to learn how the river fits into the larger ecosystem. The eighth-graders also examined the physical and chemical aspects of each aquatic ecosystem, including salinity and the amount of sediments, nitrates, phosphates and oxygen levels in the water. They also conducted biodiversity inventories of the flora and fauna in and around the rivers and estuary from the headwaters to the mouth of the river. Their work will help to determine the health of the aquatic ecosystem and biodiversity of the Carlls River.

“A Day in the Life” was coordinated by Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Central Pine Barrens Commission, the Seatuck Environmental Association, the Suffolk County Water Authority, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

“This program helps students develop an appreciation for and knowledge of Long Island’s river and estuary ecosystems and collect useful scientific data,” said program coordinator Melissa Griffiths Parrott. “It teaches students to become stewards of water quality and connected to Suffolk County’s spectacular natural resources.”