By GERRI MCDONALD
Special to Atmore News
Perdido Elementary School’s fifth-graders recently took a field trip to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab located on the eastern tip of Dauphin Island. This barrier island is surrounded by Mobile Bay, the Mississippi Sound and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, making it the perfect location for students to collect and observe a wide range of marine specimens. The Estuarium is the fourth largest estuary system in the United States.
As a follow-up to their classroom study of estuaries and food webs in science, Perdido students saw firsthand the important role these areas play in the food webs. The salt marsh, which is an important wetland habitat associated with the estuary, is full of both plants and animals.
The favorite part of the trip was when students had the opportunity to “sink into their studies” by dragging seine nets, sieving mud and scooping up animals. Identification and interesting facts about their catch were discussed by the marine educators.
Alabama Course of Study objectives were met, as students described the relationships of populations within a habitat to various communities and ecosystems, described the relationship between food chains and food webs and described symbiotic relationships.