Our theme for this newsletter is the plants and animals of Long Island Sound, not as resources to be fished or harvested, but as components of the ecosystem, inhabitants interesting in their own right. Some of the plants and animals of the Sound are year-round inhabitants, others are regular, seasonal visitors. Some, like the Japanese shore crab now dominating rocky intertidal areas, are recent arrivals to Long Island Sound, outcompeting native species to the point of being labeled “invasive”. Their life histories sometimes intersect with ours, as when masses of blue mussels washed up on the beaches of Stratford Point, CT this summer. However, most likely they would go unnoticed unless deliberately brought to our attention.
Fortunately, many educators are bringing marine life to our attention by expanding the study of Long Island Sound and its inhabitants and using the Sound as a living laboratory to teach students about biology and ecology. The value of this shouldn’t be underestimated. Science isn’t the dry resuscitation of facts – an approach that turns off many middle and high school students. Science is about tapping into our natural curiosity in a disciplined way to understand the world around us.
To view the full Fall 2001 newsletter, download the pdf document