Life on the River

  • A Day in the Life of a River 



    WHAT:  A Day in the Life of Green’s Creek 2016

    Teachers Sonja Andersen and over 20 students will be engaging in hands-on science exploration on the Green’s Creek during this one day event. Sayville High School participates in the greater “A Day in the Life” programs by collecting environmental data on the same day as “A Day in the Life of the Carmans River”.  These events are the first of many upcoming “A Day in the Life” events this fall season, following in upcoming weeks is “A Day in the Life “of the CONNETQUOT RIVER, NISSEQUOGUE RIVER, AND PECONIC ESTUARY with over 2,000 students combined. All collected citizen science data is available to the public from our website -   

    The Press is invited to attend; great photo opportunities will be available. 

     WHEN:      A Day in the Life of Green’s Creek

    Event date:  Friday, September 25th


    Various times, depending on the site.  Activities at sites will occur from 8:00am – 12:00pm (for locations and schedules, please contact Melissa Griffiths Parrott).


    WHERE:  At waterfront locations along Green’s Creek from the headwaters to the mouth (for locations and schedules, please contact Melissa Griffiths Parrott).


    WHY:  To help students develop an appreciation for and knowledge of Long Island’s River and estuary ecosystems, to collect useful scientific data in regard to the status of associated surface waters and to allow students to become stewards of water quality and natural resources. 


    BACKGROUND:   September 23rd is our first of fall events, “A Day in the Life of the Carmans River’ and “A Day in the Life of Green’s Creek”, over 38 partner organizations and agencies, 40 schools and over 2,000 students, all along Long Island’s four major rivers and estuaries, will simultaneously collect scientific information, analyze it and share it to portray the status of the river and estuary ecosystems during a “Day in the Life of Green’s Creek.” Students will use hands-on field techniques to describe their sites, catch fish in nets, collect water and invertebrate samples, develop a biodiversity inventory of the riparian zone and analyze water chemistry. 


    Not just a mere field trip, a “Day in the Life” allows students to collect firsthand information about their communities, gain knowledge about natural resources and explore how their piece of each river and estuary fits into the larger ecosystem.  Environmental educators will work with students at each site and findings will be posted online within days of the event.


    Students will examine the physical and chemical aspects of each aquatic ecosystem, such as where freshwater and salty seawater meet, the amount of sediments in the water, nitrates, phosphates, and turbidity and oxygen levels, as well as conduct biodiversity inventories of the flora and fauna in and around the rivers and estuary. At some sites, students will don waders and pull nets called “seines” through the water and it is hoped will develop enthusiasm for learning more about fish and other aquatic life.  All data collected at each event will be posted on the website


    WHO:  Sponsored by the Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission, Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Portal to Discovery and Office of Education Programs, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Foundation for Ecological Research in the Northeast (FERN), and the Suffolk County Water Authority in conjunction with essential partnerships with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, New York State Office of Parks, Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge, Ducks Unlimited, the Brook Trout Coalition, the Town of Brookhaven, Brookhaven Science Associates, Suffolk County Parks Department, US Geological Survey, Girl Scouts of Suffolk County, Manor of St. George.  Participating classes come from Suffolk Community College, Sayville High School, Longwood School District, William Floyd School District, Patchogue Medford School District, South Country School District and the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County.


    For more information on teachers and partner organizations, and to schedule visits to a site, please e-mail or call Melissa Griffiths Parrott at or (631) 655-4688.






    Melissa Griffiths Parrott

    Education and Outreach Coordinator

    Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission

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