The Chincoteague Bay Field Station hosts grandparents and their grandchildren every summer in a partnership with Road Scholar through a program called “Share a Marine Science Adventure With Your Grandchild.”
It is a week-long, intergenerational program that allows families to spend time together while exploring the eastern shore environment. The activities include a wide variety such as a relaxing cookout on the beach to a swim through the salty marsh water and mud.
A participant from this week, Mary Beth, said her favorite part of the week so far was the marsh.
“The mud was so silly and so different from other intergen programs,” she said.
Mary Beth is from Seattle, where she is used to mountains and temperatures in the 60s, so coming to the Atlantic coast was a big change from what she is used to. Other intergenerational programs she has participated in have been in Yellowstone National Park and Chicago.
On Wednesday morning, the group headed out on the Mollusk, one of CBFS’s research vessels, to do tests and examine the water in Mosquito Creek. The group tested the water for salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, current direction and visibility.
To get a sample of water, they used a Van Dorn sampler to get water from depths of the surface, one, two and three meters.
They then tested the water sample for its temperature and they used a refractometer to measure the salinity of water.
After testing the current and using a secchi disk to measure the visibility of the water, the group started preparing to trawl.
The trawl was a success! The group caught many blue crabs, a couple of squids, lots of algae, and a couple of fish including a striped burrfish.
Another participant, Hazel, said her favorite part of the week so far has been the boat trip. The best part of the boat trip for her was catching animals in the trawl net, and her favorite animal that was caught that day was the comb jelly.
Shayla, an educator at the field station, led the boat trip. Her favorite part of working with adult and family programs is the endless learning.
“They love and love to actually learn. They sign up for it and it’s not forced,” she said.
Everything you need to know about CBFS's educational programs, visiting Chincoteague Island, and more!