Kids Discover Nature of North River on Pontoon Boat Trips

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The North and South Rivers Watershed Association (NSRWA) is helping kids discover the nature of the North River in Scituate and Marshfield, MA, this summer. Thanks to a grant from Battelle, the NSRWA has the opportunity to take area kids on science-focused trips on the organization’s pontoon boat.

The 2-hour classes, led by a professional captain and a naturalist, are divided into sections. Half of the time is spent at the Spit, a sandbar at the mouth of the river, while the other half is on the boat.

At the Spit, a shifting sand flat mostly accessible only by boat, the students examine the life that exists in the tide pools, including green crabs and Asian shore crabs, sea stars, and tunicates, which are creatures that look like colorful blobs but are actually a colony of individual animals. In addition, on the walk to and from the tide pools, the students learn about dune and salt marsh habitats.

On the boat tour portion examines the diverse estuarine habitats of the North River from Route 3A to the mouth. Students collect data on water quality and marine life using scientific tools. The trip offers hands-on opportunities to participate in several scientific activities, including water sampling, bottom grabs and plankton tows. The students learn about the ecology of a salt water estuary by studying the conditions found in a salt marsh, sand flats, mud flats and an exposed high-energy beach.

For more information on the pontoon boat trips, contact the NSRWA online HERE