Floating Classroom with St. Stevens Episcopal Day School, Blue Scholars Initiative and Biscayne National Park Institute
September 12, 2023
On September 12th, 2023, The International SeaKeepers Society joined Blue Scholars Initiative for the first partnered floating classroom of the school year. 22 fourth grade students from St. Stevens Episcopal Day School joined us at Dinner Key Marina. Access to the bay was made possible by Biscayne National Park Institute, whose mission is to connect people to Biscayne National Park through educational and experiential programs which foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the parks natural and cultural resources. Once onboard their vessel, we headed over to Picnic Island B, where half of the students got off the boat to explore the Seagrass habitat with Blue Scholars Initiative. The other half of the students headed out into biscayne bay with SeaKeepers while we discussed the urban watershed system that brings fresh water and rain water into Biscayne Bay, along with many pollutants. The students engaged in water quality testing using our EarthEcho kits that allow us to test for the sample’s pH, dissolved oxygen level, temperature and turbidity. We then headed back to Picnic Island B to switch groups while discussing the significance of our results. We found the water temperature in the bay to be about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and while still high, this value has decreased significantly from the extremely high temperatures recorded in the bay in August. Very high water temperatures can create unsuitable living conditions for many organisms, such as corals, which are very sensitive to temperature changes. We ended our day by discussing the importance of keeping our bay clean, and ways in which we can avoid contributing to water pollution.
To enhance the knowledge of the students of St. Stevens Episcopal Day School about the watershed in miami that influences the water quality of Biscayne Bay and to share ways in which we can prevent further pollution of the bay. We are grateful to Blue Scholars Initiative and Biscayne National Park Institute for making the outing possible and look forward to working with these organizations in the future!