Keeping the River Clean


We had a meeting the other day about the Hudson River.   We learned that the Hudson River is an estuary. An estuary is a body of water where salt water and fresh water mixes together. Another thing about estuaries is that they’re tidal, and so the water gets high and low throughout the day.  At high tide, the water can take garbage a person might have accidentally left on the beach and sweep it out into the water.

We also learned that there is a food chain in the Hudson River that leads to us, and the younger kids drew food webs, which show how everything in the wild is connected and how everything relies on everything else in order to survive.

Ari with food web showing connections between all elements.  Ari said, "Without the sun, there wouldn't be anything at all!"

Ari with food web showing connections between all elements. Ari said, “Without the sun, there wouldn’t be anything at all!”

The older kids made charts to show how much bacteria was in the water and when.

Guin's frequency chart, which shows how often water samples taken by Riverkeeper were acceptable, possible risk and unacceptable levels of enterococcus.

Guin’s frequency chart, which shows how often water samples taken by Riverkeeper were acceptable, possible risk and unacceptable levels of enterococcus.

You can see that the samples tested acceptable more often than unacceptable, which means that the River isn’t so polluted as it used to be.

My chart also shows that the amount of rain that falls the week before the sample was taken (the orange line) can have an effect on the amount of bacteria in the water.  And the purple line shows that they don’t take samples when it’s raining because that stirs up the bacteria in the water which affects the sample!

So all of that means, you probably shouldn’t swim in the Hudson River after it rains.

There are many reasons to keep the Hudson River, or any other river, clean. Here are some:

*all bodies of water are connected so any garbage we throw in the river will end up in the ocean and become an even worse problem (for the animals and plants that live there, and for our food web and health)

*garbage can kill animals and fish that live in the river

*we swim in rivers

*we drink from rivers

*it’s pretty to look at rivers without garbage in it

You see , it is important to keep the river clean. When we keep the river clean, we are keeping the river, animals, and humans safe.

If you are interested in keeping the river clean, you can meet us at Kingston Point Beach on May 11th. We have signed up to be part of the annual community action day called the Riverkeeper Sweep. Different groups like ours are given a part of the beach to clean up. We hope we’ll see you there!

-Zoe

Wildlife Rescuers!

Last week our Roots & Shoots group went to a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. There were lots of awesome birds. I counted them. There were four bard owls, one barn owl, two screech owls, one black vulture, a seagull, a morning dove and a swan. There were a couple of ravens, a small hawk and five other red-tailed hawks, along with two great horned owls. In all, there were twenty birds!

Each animal had its own, amazing story and hardly any animals had the same. One red-tailed hawk had lived as a pet in someone’s living room for two years. You can watch the movie we made to hear a couple of the stories.

I was always sad when I heard that an animal couldn’t be returned into the wild. All these animals belong in nature and when an animal can’t survive it is sad. Luckily, they have Ellen to care for them!

Thank you, Ellen, for taking care of birds, big and small, and for showing us the birds. I also want to thank everybody who came for your cooperation, interest and donation.

-Zoe

Note from Hillary:

Our visit to Ravensbeard was also a fundraiser where each family contributed a little bit and together we were able to donate almost $50 to the center and Ellen for her great work!

Be sure to check out Ellen’s website to learn more about simple things you can do to help wildlife as well as how you can help wildlife in trouble.  You can be a rescuer, too!

Also, contact Ellen for your own group’s educational program or for your child’s next birthday party!

R&S with Ellen