FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 19-035
May 10, 2019
Bronx Students Release Classroom Trout into Watershed Streams
This Year, Thousands of Students from New York City and Upstate Watersheds Will Participate in the “Trout in the Classroom” Environmental Education Program
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Wednesday joined Trout Unlimited, Bronx Children’s Museum, 12th grade students from World View High School, and pre-K students from BronxWorks to release juvenile trout that the students have raised in their classrooms since October of last year. Nearly 125 fingerlings were released into the Cross River which feeds into Cross River Reservoir, part of New York City’s drinking water system.
“The Trout in the Classroom program provides a tangible and practical way to educate elementary, middle and high school students about the importance of preserving the rivers, streams, reservoirs, and lakes that supply the world class drinking water we enjoy every day,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “Since our partnership with Trout Unlimited began, thousands of students from New York City and the watershed have had a chance to gain an appreciation for our shared water resources and visit the streams that supply their drinking water.”
“The trout releases are always a highlight for the students involved in our Trout in the Classroom program,” said Trout Unlimited President and CEO Chris Wood. “But this is much more than a one-day field trip. For the past half-year these trout have been at the center of an inspiring STEM curriculum that really resonates with these kids. They have helped make science learning fun and productive.”
“The Bronx Children’s Museum has partnered with DEP and Trout in the Classroom (TIC) for seven years as part of our early childhood version of TIC: ‘Little Friends of the River.’ Each year the reaction is the same from our children, teachers and parents: amazement, wonder, and love as they dutifully care for their trout from eggs to freely released fingerlings,” said Nicole Wallace, Director of STEAM Programming & External Affairs at the Bronx Children’s Museum. “The hands-on, real-world learning of this program is ideal for encouraging our ‘Little Friends’ to become caring and responsible stewards of their local environment.”
Since 2002, DEP and Trout Unlimited, a national grassroots non-profit organization whose mission is to conserve, protect, and restore North America’s cold-water fisheries and their watersheds, have worked together to educate students in New York City and watershed communities about the importance of protecting our shared water resources through the Trout in the Classroom program. The conservation-oriented environmental education program teaches young New Yorkers, ranging from pre-K to grade 12, about the connections between trout, the New York City water supply system, water quality, and students from both sides of the water tunnel. This year, thousands of students from schools in New York City and the upstate watersheds incubated trout eggs in their classrooms and raised them into juvenile trout, which are also called fingerlings. The 8-month long program culminates with students taking part in a field day, where they release the fingerlings into New York City watershed streams from April through June.