DNR Celebrates Five Years of Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom
Horseshoe crab release events happening May 18, 20 and 27
ANNAPOLIS – The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Watershed Services Division, in partnership with the Maryland Conservation Corps (MCC), US Fish and Wildlife, Cambrex Inc., Flag Pond and Assateague State Park, is pleased to announce another successful year of the Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom program designed to give students hands-on activities that teach them about a current aquatic natural resource management issue.
“We know that students who show an early interest in the environment and the outdoors grow up to be Marylanders who will respect and protect Maryland’s natural resources,” said DNR Secretary C. Ronald Franks. “That’s why programs like ‘Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom’ are so vital.”
These events mark the culmination of months of study for students involved in the Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom program, which teaches students about horseshoe crabs and the management of this important species. It is an opportunity for the students to celebrate what they have learned and to participate in a host of hands-on activities. Each student will visit several stations where they will learn about how the medical industry uses horseshoe crab blood, the relationship between the crabs and shorebirds, tagging and anatomy, and how to survey and predict horseshoe crab populations.
The horseshoe crabs will be released into their natural environment at three Horseshoe Crab Field Days in May. At each Field Day, students who were involved in the raising of the horseshoe crabs will visit a station where they will learn about how the medical industry uses horseshoe crab blood, the shorebird connection, tagging and anatomy, and how to survey and predict horseshoe crab populations.
The Horseshoe Crab Field Days are happening as follows:
- May 18, 10 A.M. to 1:30 P.M., at Flag Pond Nature Park in Calvert County, 150 students from:
- St. Leonard Elementary School (Calvert)
- St. Andrew's Methodist Day School (Anne Arundel)
- The Harbour School (Anne Arundel)
- Thurgood Marshall ES (Montgomery)
- Cockeysville MS (Baltimore County)
- May 20, 10 A.M. to 1:30 P.M at Assateague State Park in Worchester County, 150 students from:
- East Salisbury Elementary School (Wicomico)
- Kent School (Kent)
- Easton Elementary School (Talbot)
- May 27, 10 A.M. to 1:30 P.M, at Assateague State Park in Worcester County, 144 students from:
- Stephen Decatur Middle School (Worchester)
- Ocean City Christian School (Worchester)
Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom is a DNR program that affords teachers and students alike the opportunity to better understand the scientific process through the collection of valuable scientific information about horseshoe crabs. This project provides equipment, activity guides and horseshoe crab eggs to schools for students to learn the ecological, medical and historical importance of the vanishing species. Schools participating in the Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom project include elementary, middle and high schools in the public and private domain.
The program is limited to 30 new teachers each year. Before they receive horseshoe crab eggs collected by DNR biologists, teachers are required to attend a 6-hour training workshop where they learn to set up and maintain their aquariums, monitor its environmental and chemical conditions, and review lesson plans.
For more information on the Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom program, check out DNROnline (http://dnr.maryland.gov/) or contact Matthew Chasse at 410-260-8828 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Directions to Flag Pond Nature Center: From Washington's Capital Beltway (I-95): Take Route 4 South into Calvert County. From the Baltimore Beltway (I-695): Take Route 301 South to Route 4. From Route 4: Just 10 miles south of Prince Frederick, look for the sign and turn left into the Nature Park.
Directions to Assateague State Park: Take Rt. 50 East towards Ocean City. Just outside of Ocean City, make a right on Rt. 611. Follow south until you reach the park.
Posted May 11, 2004