Save the Bay Reflection Blog Post
On September 4th, 2013, the AP Bio team partnered up with the Environmental Science in Action class to visit Save the Bay and learn about its mission. On this field trip, we were divided into groups.
In our first group, we tested the acidic and basic pH levels, the moisture, and the salinities of given soil samples, and we characterized plants surrounding the dirt samples. This was both informative and fun because I learned how to use scientific instruments to help characterize soil while obtaining a better understanding for how I can help to protect my environment. Also, it related back to what we were learning in class about pH levels and how to differentiate between an acid and a base. When we compared our data at the end, we learned that soil types with a higher salinity can result from mixing with the brackish bay water. However, sometimes higher salinity is found at the top of a hill. Why is that? None of us could figure it out. This occurs because the soil could have been brought in from an area with a naturally higher salinity.
In our second group, we all collaborated and used pick-axes to remove the invasive mustard plant species from the land because they spread easily and get in the way of the other native plants attempting to grow. Relating this back to what we learned in class, I understand the importance of keeping native species alive. There is biodiversity in every habitat, and if a native species dies out or an invasive species is brought in, the entireecosystem could crumble. some practice, I learned how to pull upthe roots of the mustard plant up from the ground. This is crucial because if the root is left, it will simply grow again and the plant will continue spreading. Removing the roots will, hopefully, remove all traces of the plant from that particular area and allow for a broader, more diverse range of plants to grow.
One memory that stood out was when Madison found a Praying Mantis blended into the dirt. Praying Mantis’s have the ability to change colors, which allows them to better adapt to their environment and hide from predators.
The service trip gave me a greater understanding of how important it is to protect our bay, and I will gladly tell my friends about it. The peninsula is such a desirable place to live because of its environment – and that includes the bay. From where we were the bay was beautiful, but it is also easily contaminated in some parts, and it will only continue to get worse is we let it. A contaminated bay affects the wildlife living in and around it, while affects the ecosystem and hurts our large biodiversity. I am so thankful to live in an area that is motivated to keep our bays clean, and I will do my part to reduce contamination as well by avoiding Styrofoam cups and buying paper instead of plastic bags. By informing others of Save the Bay’s organization we can all do our part to keep the Peninsula beautiful.
I was very glad to have been able to attend the class field trip to Save the Bay. I found it very informative, and a nice change from textbook and in class learning. As a visual learner, however, I found it difficult to understand how to find the pH levels and salinity of the soil without a visual demonstration beforehand. But otherwise it was an excellent trip I look forward to our field trips in the future.
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