Northeastern University Marine Science instructors accompanied Nahant's Johnson Elementary School fourth graders on a visit to Salem State University's Cat Cove Marine Lab to learn about their shellfish aquaculture operation and the critical role that plankton plays on marine food webs. Students got to visit Cat Cove's plankton culture room where brown and green algae are grown in large vats. The plankton is then fed to the clams that are grown in tanks and underwater cages. The students also got to dig in an intertidal mud flat, and saw what kinds of marine life dwell in nearshore waters. The instructors used a large seine net to catch organisms living in the shallow waters. The students were amazed to see flounder, silversides, hermit crabs, green crabs, shrimp, and mud snails pulled up by the seine net.
The marine science program, engaging children from Preschool through Grade 6 in both classroom-and field-based learning experiences, is made possible by a grant from the Nahant Education Foundation.