Mariton: Field and Lab Scientists
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager. Photos by Carole Mebus
Today we visited a little unnamed tributary of the Delaware River. Jim Wilson of the Northampton County Conservation District met us there and talked to the children about how plants protect the water quality in our streams. He talked about riparian buffers which help filter run off and limit stream bank erosion. Trees along stream banks also provide shade which cools the water and provides higher oxygen levels.
Bob Schmidt, of Fry’s Run Watershed Association, talked about the aquatic invertebrates (stream critters) living in the stream. Then the kids were let loose to collect.
We used a kick net for the macro-invertebrates. The kids also looked under rocks and along the streams edge for crayfish, salamanders and dace (a type of small fish). Then they studied them under the microscope or the field lenses.
Every kid got to do a titration to determine the amount of carbon dioxide in the water.
At the end we tallied up what we had found. Using the stream sampling calculator we arrived at a score of 21, which gave us very good water quality. Jim and Bob were fantastic, and the kids had a lot of fun doing the sampling. They were real aquatic scientists for the morning. Plus what kid doesn’t like to splash in the water?