On Friday June 14th, the Wakefield Paul school 6th Graders took a field trip with AWWA to Portsmouth for their last Watershed Education class of the year.  Friday marked the culmination of the several weeks AWWA spent in the classroom this spring.  AWWA stresses the importance of water quality, invasive species, and macroinvertebrates and also explains the connection between many of Wakefield’s lakes (Great East, Ivanhoe, Lovell, and Horn) that make up the headwaters to the Salmon Falls River and eventually, the Piscataqua River.

On Friday the students got to take a sail on the Gundalow style ship named the Piscataqua.  The Gundalow Company aims “to protect the Piscataqua Region’s maritime heritage and environment through education and action”.

On Friday the students boarded the Piscataqua and went for a sail on the Piscataqua River connecting land use to water quality and the headwater watersheds they live in to the ocean.  The sail lasted about two hours and students were broken into three groups that participated in a variety of activities.

Before they started the activities, the students had to help raise the sail!  To watch the video of the sail raising, click here.

After raising the sail, students got to do a bunch of neat things.  One group looked at river/ocean ecology through observing a lobster and doing a plankton tow to observe what visible plankton were in the river.

Another station had the students observing maps and navigation.  Students even got a chance to captain the ship!

The other station had students go below decks and work on a watershed model connecting land use to water quality.

The sail was a huge success and the students had a great time.  After docking, the students had lunch and headed over to Pierce Island where they had a little more ecology with AWWA Executive Director Linda Schier.  Students learned about crabs, star fish, and more!

With another year in the schools done, we wish everyone a happy summer and seeing a whole new group of 6th graders next year and seeing these students as 7th graders when AWWA does well water testing with them!