Central’s Environmental Science Students Explore Natural Marsh Ecosystems

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Valley Stream Central High School students are getting their hands wet out in the field! The AP Environmental Science class visited the Oceanside Nature Preserve on Oct. 20, under the direction of teacher Katie Prudente.

Students documented detailed observations while at the marsh and related the marsh ecology to the study of ecosystems. They witnessed niche-specific adaptations that allow organisms to survive in the marsh ecosystem, including significant shifts in both salinity and water level. Using cast nets, students collected a variety of species to examine such as Mud Snails, Blue Crabs, and Marine Algae.

Class members also witnessed a variety of migratory bird species. During this unique time of year, both summer and winter birds can be spotted at the marsh. In addition, the students did on-site water testing to determine the quality of the marsh water. These tests included dissolved oxygen, salinity (specific gravity), temperature and turbidity.