Search This Blog

Friday, May 16, 2014

Jersey City students work to save reservoir's aquatic life

About 15 students from 5th to 8th grade gathered at Jersey City's reservoir, located at 199 Reservoir Avenue, to work on ways to fight an invasive plant species and aerate the reservoir's water on May 10, 2014.

By Jonathan Lin/The Jersey Journal

Tackling an invasive plant species and reviving aquatic life were the projects of the day for a group of Jersey City students who were up early Saturday morning at the city’s reservoir.

About 15 students — mostly 7th graders and one 5th grader from School 28, St. Nicholas School and School 4 — arrived at 8 a.m. at the reservoir with weed-cutting tools, measuring tape, rubber wading outfits and other equipment to perform their work.

Nestled deep in a maze of phragmites, an invasive plant species at the reservoir, Kaylee Hutchinson, 13, a 7th grader at School 28, tried to clear a one meter by one meter patch with some other students.

“We’re trying to see if we can control how much they grow,” she said, as she wrestled with the tall, stiff reeds.

Joel Naatus, the 7th-grade science teacher supervising the students, said the students would be tracking the rate of growth of the phragmites to determine the best time to cut them.

Meanwhile, two other teams of students were wading out into the reservoir water in rubber outfits. One team focused on collecting algae samples, while another team worked on rigging a raft with a new solar-powered aerator.

“We’re preventing a massive die-off of aquatic life,” said Rahul Gupta, 14, an 8th grader at School 28. “Our aerator helps provide more oxygen to the fish so they can breathe.”

Naatus — who was named Jersey City’s teacher of the year in February — has been working with his students to restore the reservoir since 2011.

“We’re trying to have different themes for every Saturday,” he said. “It’s good for other kids in the community to come see what we’re doing.”

Saturday’s event marked the first of a series of summer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) events designed to introduce children between the ages of 10 to 14 to topics such as solar aerators, water ecology, history of our drinking water and adventure walks.

The series of events is sponsored by School 28’s Project Reservoir and the Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance.

Click here to read from this article's source.