Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Harbor Class Treasures of Specacle Island


Another day at sea began at noon at the Marriott pier. It was another bright, sunny day with signs of wind and clouds in the distance. We began our voyage with the sounds of Journey from the boat's speakers. They were a great band!

We were off to Spectacle Island, a former dumping ground, to reinforce our understanding of the latest reading, "Tragedy of the Commons"by Garrett Harden, 1968.

We were welcomed by Ranger Phil and were asked to find cool stuff. It was low tide, as you can see by this picture.

The island was beautiful and had great views from the top. Thanks for the tip!

Almost immediatly Emily found evedence of a Moon Snail. The class determined that it must have been dropped by a bird.

Other Moon Snail evidence:

One of the other students found this. It was later identified as an operculum, the door a snail uses to shut their opening.

Other students found other evidence of life on the island, a decompsing skate and what appeared to be a bone from a horse.
We divided into teams and were asked to select 2 small areas the size of a hula hoop and identify and categorize what we found. We were asked to compare both areas and make some hypothises on why each area was different.
Team NH and Team ME paired up and first selected an area on the wreck line. It was dry and sandy. There were plenty of things to identify and sort.
Animal remains (no life present):
  • Bird feathers
  • Crab skeletons
  • Tunicate remains

Shells from mollusks:

Sea glass from old trash:

All different kinds of small rocks:

Dead Rockweed and other plantlife:

Then we went to the shoreline where the tide was just coming in and selected a spot. It was very different.
It was wet, the rocks were larger, and there were more signs of life.
  • Crabs
  • Periwinkles
  • Barnicles

  • Razor Clam shells
  • Moon Snail shells
  • Clam shells
  • Oyster shells
  • Mussels

Slipper Shells (alive and dead):

  • Anemone

The closer we got to the water, the more life we saw. It makes sense that we should fix the water problems first and then save the beaches. The "Tragedy of the Commons" message was understood.
It was a good day.

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