For several months the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences has been coordinating an inventory of the fish, reptiles, mammals, insects, and plants that make their home along the upper St. Lawrence River.
By recruiting “Citizen Scientists” in shoreline communities the River Institute is generating a roster of species that will help to define the health of the environment in specific areas on and along the river.
Saturday, July 18th beginning at 10 am, the River Institute is extending a special invitation to the citizens of South Dundas to get their wet by becoming nature detectives as a “Bioblitz” investigation is brought to Iroquois Beach.
The collection, observation and documentation of species found on and near the beach that day will assist in determining specific research goals that lead to strategies to repair and protect the St. Lawrence River and its ecosystems.
Lacey MacDonald, the Science Education Specialist working with the Biodiversity Project, is recruiting Citizen Scientists of all ages to be environmental investigators to help her track down the creatures and plants that live in the St. Lawrence River watershed.
Lacey says, “There are thousands of different species of plants, fish and mammals living all around us in the St. Lawrence River area.”
She adds, “No find is too insignificant. We are thrilled to have those with specific expertise join us as volunteers such as members of birding or fishing clubs, but all interested individuals and families are more than welcome to come out as well. We provide the tools for gathering data and it provides an opportunity to get into the great outdoors and have fun at the same time. It is a chance to participate in real science.” The day long Bioblitz in Iroquois is flexible giving volunteers the ability to devote as much or as little time as they desire. Prizes will be awarded to the most species recorded over the course of the day.
For more information, potential volunteers can e-mail the River Institute Biodiversity Program at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the River Institute website at www.riverinstitute.ca under the Teacher’s Corner, or call 613-936-6620 (ext. 237)
The River Institute was established in 1994 as a unique community partnership involving government, education, business and industry, and the Mohawks of Akwesasne. Its mandate is environmental research and education with a focus on the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence River ecosystem.