Posted by: D. Rand | September 30, 2013

Long Island Sound: What lives between the tides?

Our GEMS grade five marine scientists explored the sandy and rocky beaches of Long Island Sound during the past week to investigate what life lives between the tides! Students donned waders and safety gear and used a 30-foot seine net to collect specimens and observe them in a beach laboratory set-up by teachers and then release most of the specimens back into the sea.

In addition students had the opportunity to use ipads to collect images of the coastline environment. Students also sifted beach samples using special geologist tools to make observations and record what makes up the beach at Hammonasset State Park.

Most exciting was the almost 1,000 crabs collected during the day on the rocky beach! Students became experts at measuring sizes, assigning gender, sorting and counting an invasive species, the Asian or Japanese Shore crab. Data will be compared to crab data collected over the past several years and will be used to assess any changes when GEMS student scientists return to Hammonasset in the spring!


  1. It was a great day! The fifth grade student scientists were asking great questions and they honed their observation skills! Thank you for letting me be a part of this amazing experience.
    Ms. Wilson

    • Hi Ms. Wilson,
      We loved having you join us! You are a fantastic seiner! Thank you for the help!

      Stay tuned for updates on or click the link on the right side of this page. We will be posting more photos of our “Crab Hunt” and announce the final total collected on Sept. 26, 2013!

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