On the first day my group, the Earth group, visited the Land Application Plant. At the plant there was a lob-lolly forest and a lily pond. The forest is sprayed with treated wastewater that comes from all over Onslow County. After learning about the different ways the forest contributes to our county, we put on our waders and went into the lily pond. There we tested water samples and used dip nets to find organisms within the lily pond. In the picture to the left, my friend and I are trying to find different organisms with the help of one of our instructors. We caught water bugs and a few tadpoles!
During the institute, we took a tour of Sturgeon City and learned the history of the area. In the picture shown our instructor is telling us about the planting of oysters into Wilson Bay. The oysters were used to help rehabilitate the bay and get it back to the thriving place it once was. Oysters are filter feeders which means that they filter through the water and collect most of the particles in the water. There were over 8 million oysters put into the bay! The Institute continues to put oysters in the bay.
One of my favorite activities was going to the beach! We visited Onslow Beach and took water quality samples and sifted through sand samples. In this picture some of us are sifting through a sand sample to find sea urchin spines, shark teeth, and other evidence of animal life. Though this program is about teaching it’s also about having fun! After sifting and learning the different beach sections we got to play around in the water. A couple of my friends went and swam in the water to cool off from the hot day. This camp has taught me so much and I’ve made many new friends that share the same interest of improving our environment and I can’t wait to come back next year!