Visiting the North Carolina Estuarium

What is the purpose of an estuarium? The North Carolina Estuarium in Washington, NC is devoted to protection of wetlands and education of the general public. Slide shows, live animals, and interactive exhibits bring to life the processes that affect the health and condition of this fragile ecosystem. Teachers and their students can engage in planning a trip and comparing water samples on their way to the estuarium. The museum provides a pre-planning packet with activities that make the estuarium experience more meaningful. When students have been engaged in activities examining water-characteristic differences as it marches o the sea. Other activities associated with a trip to the estuarium include making planned stops along a river to compare the pH, temperature, turbidity, salinity, and dissolved oxygen. These are each vital factors which affect the health of the watershed. Students can make predictions about how the DO, salinity, and pH will vary for each of their stops. Industrial sites are also recommended as stopping points. Student journals and artifacts are encouraged so that pictures and water samples can be used to report their analyses in a schooled showcase or local newspaper.


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