Sixth-graders shore-up the salmon

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For one week, all sixth-graders at Sequim Middle School got a first-hand look into the world of the Dungeness River.

Staff and volunteers for the Dungeness River Audubon Center led more than 200 students on excursions into the water, through the woods and onto the Railroad Bridge.

They learned about:
• Stewardship by removing noxious weeds and performing some trail repair
• Water testing for temperature, dissolved oxygen, river flow and pH
• Plant surveying
• Macroinvertebrates and how they determine the health of the river
• Succession and how it determines river and life form habits over time
• The life of a salmon by going for a walk along the river to release coho salmon

Sixth-grade teacher Meredith Johnson said her students were really receptive.

“They know some of the stuff but not all of it,” she said.

She was most surprised to find her students’ favorite part was pulling invasive weed species from the woods.

Dungeness River Audubon Center Director Bob Boekelheide said the sixth-grade event was started in 1999 and the center began partnering with Sequim Middle School in 2002.

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