Rocky Shore

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"Our Rocky Shore"
Audiences: Pre-school, Elementary, Middle, and High Schools, and Adults.

Sunset near North HamptonProgram can be tailored to the age and academic background of the students. To enhance the presentation's effectiveness, it is very helpful if the lead teacher at the school contacts one of the program presenters to help ascertain target areas. The focus of the 45-minute Rocky Shore Program can be either Seaweeds or Invertebrate Animals. If the school would like to have both presentations, we then recommend two sessions or a 90-minute period.

NH Frameworks: Sections: LS1-1, LS2-3

Program Summary

Spanning the area between the low and high tide lines, the intertidal zone of the rocky shore of the New England seacoast is an ecological treasure trove of organisms whose survival is challenged by a variety of extreme conditions including crashing waves, hours of exposure to air, temperature and salinity fluctuations, and predation from both land and sea. Yet even in these conditions there is a rich variety of marine organisms that have adapted well to this ecosystem.

Rocky Shore SeaTrek participants with a sea squirt A Power Point presentation sets the stage for understanding the organisms and the ecological interactions that impact this dynamic ecosystem. Participants then have the opportunity for detailed examination and handling of many of the common live seaweeds and invertebrates that inhabit the different areas of the intertidal zone between the low and high tide lines. In addition to seeing a diversity of red, green and brown seaweeds, students will also get to observe such organisms as snails (periwinkles and dog whelks), sea stars, sea urchins, and green & Asian shore crabs, among others. Through their encounters with these intertidal organisms, students will be encouraged to observe and discuss the adaptations of each organism that help ensure that it remains moist, feeds adequately, avoids predators and stays put amid tides and crashing waves.

Program Outline (for either a 45-minute or 90-minute presentation)

1. Part 1: Power Point presentation
2. Activity: Hands-on observation of Seaweeds and/or Invertebrates.
3. Part 2: Wrap up, or if time permits, a discussion of the tidal phenomenon.

Rocky Shore SeaTrek participant holding a seastar