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9th & 10th Grade Science Students Conduct Eel Monitoring at the Bronx River

posted May 9, 2014, 7:20 AM by Alison Gazarek
9th and 10th grade science students at FLHFHS often leave the classroom in order to engage in real-world science in their community. The
 Bronx River is a rich source of study for our students. Recently the classes visited the river in order to monitor the eel population with Damian Griffin from the Bronx River Alliance. Students washed eel mops from under the 174th Bridge and found approximately 8 eels. 

Student Jaileen Cortes writes about the experience for our website: 

Our class here at Fannie Lou Hamer got the chance to meet up with a man named Damian Griffin from the Bronx River Alliance. He was explaining to us how eels travel to find a freshwater place to live in. He was showing us these mops that looked like little hay stacks. The mops’ job was to go inside of the river and serve as a home for the eels and for these little creatures named arthropods. 

Once we took them out of the water they were put inside of these buckets where we needed to pick up the mops and shake them 30 times in order to get all of the living organisms out of them. The mops were so heavy and the water looked so dark! Once that process was done we completely took out the mop from the bucket and we started to drain out the water that was left behind by the mop. We used these nets that helped catch the living organisms. We found so many arthropods and baby eels. There was a lot of dirt inside of the bucket so once the water was drained into the nets we separated the eels and arthropods from the dirt and leaves. 

This was a great experience seeing how an organism can adapt to a home so quickly. It connects to our weekly visits to the River. We have been going to the River every week and we study the tide of the water and the PH of it as well. So I found it very interesting knowing that baby eels travel 3,000 miles to where we live to grow up.