Wednesday, April 9, 2014

You Say Oyster, I Say "Erster"

Last week, I found myself cruising the Severn River. The wind was in my hair, the sun on my face and in my hand a . . .

very slimy shell.

My big boy's sixth-grade science class took a field trip to the Annapolis Maritime Museum. The trip included a ride on the Harbor Queen to plant spat on a reef at the nearby oyster sanctuary.

Spat are baby oysters.

They are also proof that the phrase "baby anythings are cute" is not true.

There were more than a dozen spat on this shell. Gabe got to "plant" it on the reef (i.e. chuck it in the direction of a yellow buoy).

While on the boat, we also measured water quality and learned how oysters help filter the water of the Bay. We learned the oyster's place in the food chain and how oysters provide a habitat for other Bay critters like the blue crab.

It was a chilly, but beautiful trip.

We left from the Annapolis City Docks, but the boat dropped us off at the Annapolis Maritime Museum.

The museum is located in an old oyster packing plant. It was an appropriate place to learn the role oysters play in the local economy. We got to talk to an active waterman and try our hand at tonging for oysters.

It was hard work.

Gabe decided oysters are cool, but he'd rather be a marine paleontologist.

I decided I'm grateful our school system puts such value on teaching kids about our environment.


To learn more about oysters, try visiting the following resources:

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