Studying Sea Life

Babylon Junior-Senior High School’s ninth- and 10th-grade STEAM students were recently invited to participate in the first annual Oyster Gardening Program at Great Atlantic Shellfish Farm in East Islip.

After receiving a “behind the scenes” tour of the farm to understand how oysters are being raised for distribution along the south shore of Long Island, the students rolled up their sleeves and took part in the hands-on aspect of the program.

The hatchery donated 200 juvenile oysters for the students to place in oyster cages that were engineered in their classes. Students then tagged and set their cages in water at both Gilgo Beach Marina and the Carll’s River in Babylon to test if these oysters would be able to grow and survive within these conditions. The ongoing studies will allow them to determine if oysters can be used to clean and filter local water systems.

“We’re excited to monitor the data throughout the year so that we can expand and continue the program for next year,” said Science Director Kristen Dixon, who accompanied the students on the trip along with teachers Mary Beth Schappert and Andrew Sheltz.