Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Yesterday … Troubles Far Away!

Today was not all that eventful, other than a pleasant trip to the Tech Center. So, since I did not have an opportunity yesterday to post about yesterday’s trip to Redondo Beach, let me provide a little about what we did and learned on it. Our trip was sponsored by the  Montrose Settlements Restoration Program. Starting in the 1940’s the Montrose Chemical Company began manufacturing the pesticide DDT. It discharged much of this into the LA County sewage system and the chemical contaminated the area from Santa Monica to Seal Beach. The company and its insurers ultimately paid over 200 million in fines to help mitigate the damage. Part of money is used for education. We were lucky enough to be part of this.

Our trip took place in two locations. The first is the Sea Lab, a facility just across the street from the power plant in Redondo Beach. This is staffed by some incredibly talented people from the Los Angeles Conservation Corps. They began with a game that helped the students understand how DDT moves through the food chain.


The students then had the opportunity to see and touch actual sea life from this area. There were several tanks set up for this purpose.


The larger tanks, holding specimens like black bass, had windows so they students could see.


In the shallower tanks, the students could see how halibut cleverly camouflage themselves.


They loved the rays, particularly the bat ray.



They had the chance to pet horned sharks.


The students then walked about a mile to the Hermosa Beach pier. They were given more information there about the different kinds of species that are safe and unsafe for human consumption.


The bad species – those most contaminated with DDT and heavy metals – are also listed prominently on the pier.


The students were then taught how to fish using rods provided. For many of our students, this was the first time they had ever done this!


The students were shown how to fillet a fish, and what were the safest ways to eat our local fish.


We left with peaceful memories of a warm day spent on the Southern California shore.


Homework:  (1) Do any five of the words from 6-20. Because of Friday’s field trip, we will do the test tomorrow. (2) Do pages 99, 101, 104, and 105 in the Practice book. (3) Do the division practice sheet. (4) Do pages 180-181 in the math book. (5) Complete the rough draft of the composition about yesterday’s field trip.

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