Find & Seek WaterFront Style
by Michelle Hollander
Did you know that our Marine Ecology Lab contains nearly 1,000 gallons of water in fresh and brackish aquarium tanks? In the past, these tanks were only viewed by our marine education program participants. However, they shouldn’t be a hidden secret. We want more people to experience the wonders of our bay. As a result, we designed a self-guided scavenger hunt for anyone interested in learning more. When you first enter the lab, there is a small basket located just to the side of the first tank. The basket contains about 100 laminated cards that indicate the common and scientific names of the most common creatures that we find in West Harbor, along with a picture. The back of each card provides some fun facts about that species as well. Participants can use these cards to identify the creatures in the tanks.
For trickier creatures, field guides are located nearby. Once a creature is found, the cards can be slid into the bar at the top of the tank thereby identifying the animals present in that tank. There are also scavenger hunt sheets with questions geared toward elementary, middle, and high school students, respectively. Do you know which creatures are invasive? What animal can filter 50 gallons of water a day? Which crabs are considered “decorator” crabs? This might be your chance to find out and even see our resident oyster toadfish up close!
Our upstairs hallways have even been spruced up. You can learn more about reading nautical charts with the interactive guide hanging on our wall. Find fun facts about sailing and paddling, or even learn about the history of the Jakobson shipyard & the SeaSpace Tidalab I. You have to see it to believe it!