All aboard the Mystic Whaler! The Hudson River is a large river just a few miles from EF Academy’s campus. However as some members of the IB Geography class recently found out, while beautiful and majestic, the Hudson River also faces many challenges from pollution. The wildlife in the river is considered unhealthy for pregnant women and babies to eat due to the high levels of pollution.
After boarding the “Mystic Whaler” schooner, students had the opportunity to learn about ship navigation and even raised the sails of the schooner with the crew. But the trip with Hudson River Sloop Clearwater was not simply about enjoying a beautiful Saturday morning on the river.
The Hudson River is home to many types of marine life. The group visited several sites along the river and collected water samples for the IB Geography Internal Assessment. IBY1 student Sarra Mechri noted, “All of us took data from the two different types of water. These water samples will be the base for our IA project in IB Geography class.” The trip began with a visit to a historical site along the river, where they learned about the discovery of the Hudson River and its role in the development of civilization in the river valley.
The group then continued along the river for a Watershed Ecology Simulation to learn about the effects of factory emission, domestic water discharge, oil spills, and fertilizer pollution from farms. They learned the effects on vegetation in water ecology can be devastating.
According to one of the trip attendees, IBY1 student Zichuan (Oliver) Wang, “The Hudson River trip was an invaluable once-in-a-lifetime experience that raised our awareness of the importance of river conservation and gave rise to our love of the river we live so close to.” Ms. Mechri commented, “My favorite part about the trip was that I could sail for the very first time of my life.”
The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater environmental education initiatives introduce thousands of school-age children and young adults to the Hudson River and its watershed each year through innovative, hands-on learning programs that provide a continuum of experiences from elementary school right through college. Over the last nearly 50 years, the concerts, sloop education programs and environmental advocacy programs have inspired, educated and activated millions of people.