Thursday, August 11, 2011

Marine Biology Day Camp

Thirty-one budding marine biologists participated in Marine Biology Day Camp July 25-29th. Chris and I, along with Nancy Israel, Claudia Padilla and counselors Duncan and Andrew worked to create a fun-filled week all about the marine environment. Campers learned about local marine invertebrates and fish, the diversity of plankton in Puget Sound, the effects of plastic on the marine environment, orcas families and how they communicate and so much more.
Campers learned about echolocation and experienced the
difficulty of catching prey by sound, not sight.
Although some of our time was spent inside, we spent a lot of time outside exploring! The lessons were mixed with a beach scavenger hunt, a beach walk and clean-up and even building an orca whale to scale on the beach! It was amazing to see this group work together and help each other to create such a beautiful sand orca. 
The whole group with our 24-foot sand orca

On our beach walk, the campers got really into looking for
nurdles (small pre-production plastic pellets)

Towards the end of the week, we took a field trip to the railroad trestle beach to explore the sandy tide flat habitat. Campers rotated through four different stations; beach seining for fish, clamming, sieving for worms and exploring the breakwater. 
Digging for clams

On Friday, we put all our marine life learning to the test! We explored the tidepools at Kinzie Beach and found all sorts of marine invertebrates including gumboot chitons, porcelain crabs, six-ray stars and even a striped sunstar! While eating snack on Kinzie beach, we were privileged to see a bald eagle swoop down right in front of us and catch a fish! After lunch, Chrissy led us in a beach seine. Chrissy set the 150-foot net with a row boat and then all the campers helped pull the net into shore. Even though some kelp got wrapped around part of the net, we were still able to catch a lot of fish. Campers helped to identify gunnels, sculpins, perch and crabs, as well as help release most of the fish back to their eelgrass habitat. 
Tidepooling at Kinzie Beach

Pulling in the seine net

Keeping the lead-line (bottom of the net) as close to the ground
and possible to keep the fish in the net

Admiring the fish we caught
Both campers and staff had an amazing week learning about the marine environment, playing games and exploring the beaches of Fort Worden.
The whole group on our beach walk

Julia Ledbetter
Marine Exhibit Education Coordinator

1 comment:

  1. Its great camp for children's with this they learn the new things and get some recreations...


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