Fifth-graders at Moriches Elementary School recently had the opportunity to work with volunteers from the Moriches Bay Project, an aquatic restoration program with a mission to improve the overall water quality in Moriches Bay and increase environmental productivity by re-establishing populations of shellfish and eelgrass to the fragile marine environment.
The students worked with their teachers and Moriches Bay Project volunteers to build oyster cages, which can hold up to 200 adult oysters and collectively filter approximately 10,000 gallons of water per day. The students’ work will be part of an oyster farm that will be placed in the bay. Together, the students constructed seven cages which will help filter up to 70,000 gallons of water per day.
“The Moriches Bay Project hopes that by talking to students we can help to bring awareness to our local children about the conditions in our bays,” said Laura Fabrizio, co-founder and president, Moriches Bay Project. “We hope to help educate them that we all can do something and all have a responsibility to care for our environment. In the end, we hope to inspire them to learn more about our water.”
“It’s important that the Moriches Bay Project comes to the school to work with our students because this is their community and it should give them pride to help clean up the bay so that they can visit with their families and enjoy all it has to offer,” said Madison Gunderson, fifth-grade teacher, Moriches Elementary School, who participated with Kimberly Scala’s classes. “I also think it gives students the opportunity to learn how local organizations can have a positive impact on a community. Students can see ways to help and make a difference.”