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Monday, July 25, 2011

A Day At the Beach

A Day at the Beach with Operation Exodus
It was the perfect day for a trip to the beach, and lucky for us Operation Exodus stopped by to learn about Oyster Bay’s marine environment, and get their feet wet with some fun shore activities! The group of 60 kids, who ranged from second graders to seventh graders, arrived this morning ready to brave the heat and enjoy the beach, and as we headed out to Beekman Beach to examine the environment a little more closely, the kids were excited for their adventure. The first part of the day was spent walking the beach, looking closely at the sand to see what they could find, and learning about the many different animals that can be found on the beach, in the water, and in the small tide pools that form during low tide. The older group was fascinated with the mud snails, which can be found on the beach at low tide. 

The group then had the chance to do some sniggling - trying to catch American eels with nets in the river. These eels, which are small, slimy, and harmless, hide out during the day under rocks, and hunt fish at night - we had some luck catching a few, and got to get up close and personal with them once we had put them safely in buckets. The kids were super enthusiastic to get to see these animals up close, and screamed with excitement as the little eels swam into their nets from under the rocks - pretty cool!

We left the water shortly after, and took a seat in the shade to become more familiar with a few more animals from the touch tank. Both the younger group and the older group sat beneath a tree by the beach to learn about horseshoe crabs, spider crabs, sea stars, and a few other animals that can be found here in Oyster Bay. The kids were eager to touch and hold the animals, and remained enthusiastic (but still respectful!) as they passed the mussels and snails from hand to hand, and had a blast getting to know our resident sea creatures! “They had a good time,” said one of their counselors, who added that despite the heat, the kids truly enjoyed their day on the shore. Operation Exodus, based in Manhattan, is a program for New York City youth that gives them the chance to get out of the city and do different activities throughout the summer. We were delighted to host this week’s adventure for the group, and hope to see them again soon!


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