Monday, September 19, 2011

Delta Discovery Voyage

This homeschool thing takes a village I tell ya ;)
And one of my favorite partners-in-crime is a fantastic field trip coordinator.  
Case in point, today's terrific FREE trip on the Delta.
Put on by the Marine Science Institute and sponsored by local agencies like the 
Contra Costa Water District,  Contra Costa Sanitation District, Delta Diablo Sanitation District, 
 Chemical Corporation. 
Which may sound a bit scary, but it's all about keeping the junk out of our drinking water right?
So we gathered with another school at the local dock in town.
And did I mention how HOT it was today?  
It was scorching outside...
and even hotter inside with ALL those kids! 
....ugh and the life jackets!
It's like wearing a set of pillows in a sauna!
Luckily we weren't INSIDE the boat the whole time, and I promise we didn't 
complain in FRONT of the kids ;) 
We had four groups of 20 kids each and we rotated through stations on our 4 hour journey. 
Which, at 12 knots doesn't take you very far down the river....
But the action was all on board.
They caught fish by pulling in a HUGE fishing net.
It's all about Ichthyology, ya know?
And to study a fish you need to touch a fish.
Thank goodness chaperons didn't have to take part!
Next, we dredged a bit for Benthic creatures.
which took a little more muscle. 
But inside that great big claw.... 
...was a bunch of muck. 
 Which the kids smooshed around in...  
gave themselves facials with... 
(ewww) and too cute! 
And generally had fun in with their friends.
But once we rinsed off the mud, little treasures awaited.
 Though nothing crawly was found, the kids totally 'dug' the clams and learned about how most of them came from ports around the world when they dump their ballast water in local ports.   
Foreign clams, who knew?
Now back to your habitat clammies!
At the third station we collected vials of water and looked for phytoplankton
or zooplankton.
It's amazing what you'll find in one.tiny.drop of water. 
Under magnification, we could actually see this microscopic snail,
 and witness his insides moving around. 
Crazy, cool. 
Our final station was Hydrology and I have to say it was super eye opening even for me!
For instance, I know I've rinsed a paint brush in the gutter instead of a sink before.
And how many batteries have I thrown away instead of taking them in for recycling. 
Needless to say, I think Ian and I will be starting a Household Hazardous Waste bin.  
Oh, and did you know that the Household Hazardous Waste facility in C.C. County has a Paint Can Giveaway program?
YAY!  Totally worth checking out!
So for all we learned today I am TRULY grateful!
Another wonderful day checked off.
I truly recommend the Delta Discovery Voyage!

1 comment:

Gina said...

Thanks for helping out on the trip--Jozsef really enjoyed it. Wish I could have gone! I didn't miss the heat though--Jozsef came home drenched!