The Sachem High School North Science National Honor Society recently went on a field trip to Sunken Meadow State Park to participate in “A Day in the Life of the Nissequogue River” as part of the “Day in the Life” program sponsored by Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Long Island Pine Barrens Commission and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The collaborative effort partners school groups with environmental science professionals to collect data at multiple locations throughout an aquatic ecosystem to get an overview of the health of that watershed. As part of the trip, students from 10 different schools sampled various locations along the Nissequogue River. They collected water chemistry data, seined for fish, conducted a terrestrial wildlife survey, took soil samples and analyzed surrounding land use. In the coming weeks, students will collaborate with these other groups and agency professionals to upload, share and analyze data for the entire Nissequogue River system.
The specific site the students visited, Sunken Meadow Creek, a tributary of the Nissequogue, is the product of a long-term estuary restoration project. In the past, Sachem North students have aided in the restoration project by helping plant salt marsh plants and participating in long-term habitat monitoring and data collection with environmental science nonprofit and government professionals to document positive changes there for over 10 years.