Students come into contact with a variety of organisms when they experience a lesson on the different intertidal zones. When exploring the littoral and sublittoral zones, a group of eighth graders from Allen Middle School found a plethora of periwinkle snails, which use vibrations in the water to sense high and low tides. “We’re using vibrations to get the snails to come out of their shells,” said Katie, Maddie, and Skylar as they hummed to the snails in their hands.
Sieve boxes allow students to go even more in depth. While shaking out sediment, many groups found blue crabs, one of which was so large it may have eaten other organisms the students were trying to collect.
Students also use a seine net to catch other animals. A “Godzilla line” of students with interlocked arms, stomping feet, and bellowing screams chase small fish and shrimp into the net. Occasionally, however, they’ll net something larger, like this flounder that was larger than a dinner plate! Of course, it's catch and release here at the Field Station so after the students made observations about the fish it was carefully released back into Tom's Cove.
Everything you need to know about CBFS's educational programs, visiting Chincoteague Island, and more!