Floating Classroom with US-School Microschool
November 6, 2023
On Monday, November 6th, The International SeaKeepers Society’s educational team hosted 22 students and parents from US-School Microschool for a floating classroom on Biscayne Bay. We all met at Bill Bird Marina, where we saw some cool stuff around the dock including huge tarpon, some French Angelfish, a juvenile Cuttlefish, and a brief dolphin sighting! Once our DISCOVERY Yacht River Queen arrived, we boarded and headed South in the bay while speaking about the history of the Everglades and its influence on Biscayne Bay and the urban watershed, and how the Everglades’ freshwater has been rerouted to support current agriculture and residential areas. This led to a discussion about pollutants that are carried to Biscayne Bay through the watershed, including trash, oil and gas, fertilizer, and pet waste. The students hypothesized how these pollutants could change the water chemistry in the bay and create unsafe conditions for humans and marine life. We introduced some parameters that can be used to test water quality including temperature, turbidity, pH, and dissolved oxygen level, and then used our Earth Echo kits to test for these parameters and discuss the yielded values. We found the bay to be pretty clear and chilly today, with a temperature of only 73 degrees Fahrenheit! Similar to the last few tests, the dissolved oxygen level was around 2ppm, which we hope to see increase in the near future. We finished our trip with a stop at Sandspur Island where we held an island cleanup, which was quite filthy despite our recent visits. Our volunteers gathered over 55 lbs of debris in only 30 minutes, consisting largely of bottle caps, beverage bottles and cigarette butts. As we headed back to the marina we encouraged the students to share what kinds of items they found and any sustainable alternatives for these products. Thank you to the students of US-School Microschool for attending and to DISCOVERY Yacht River Queen for making it happen!
To enhance the knowledge of the students from US-School Microschool about our urban watershed, sources of ocean pollution, and their impact on water quality.