Partners Make a Splash with Project WET’s Discover the Hudson River Booklet
Hudson River Estuary - Press Release

New Resource for Teachers and Students Studying the Hudson

Contact:

Nordica Holochuck, NYSG Hudson Estuary Specialist, E:nch8@cornell.edu, P: 845.340.3983.

Kingston, NY, February 26, 2010 – Any way you look at the Hudson River watershed, it’s big. It covers an area as large as the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts combined, flows 315 miles from its head waters in Lake Tear of the Clouds high in the Adirondack Mountains all the way to the New York-New Jersey Harbor, is as deep as 175 feet at World’s End near West Point and as wide as 3.5 miles at Haverstraw Bay.

So begins the journey that unfolds in Discover the Hudson River, a newly-available16-page color booklet designed for teachers and students in the upper elementary grades (5-6 grades). Available free to coastal educators for a limited time only, this Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) Foundation activity booklet for kids 8-12 is a unique resource for learning about New York’s Hudson River.

Through lively text, colors, games, maps and activities, the booklet provides information about the Hudson watershed, the variety of wildlife the river supports, and the many ways people influence and are influenced by the Hudson River.

Produced in 2009 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s first exploration, the booklet is a joint venture between Project WET, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), New York Sea Grant (NYSG), the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program (HEP),  the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation.

“We’re offering teachers an add-on to their science curriculum that’s educational but not too cumbersome for kids,” says NYSG Hudson Estuary Specialist Nordica Holochuck, of the visually-driven Discover. “The puzzles and games included in the booklet are interesting and fun. It represents another approach to engage young people in environmental education.”

“Discover the Hudson River will be a valuable teaching tool for anyone interested in helping our younger generation to better understand the environment of the Hudson through its wildlife, watershed, history and people,” says DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis.  “It’s a marvelous example of the positive work that can result from a successful collaboration between public and private entities.”

“I’m particularly happy that this booklet includes a watershed perspective,” says Holochuck. “It emphasizes the importance of water quality throughout the Hudson Valley’s suburban and rural regions, and takes the reader on a journey to New York Harbor, along the way underscoring the transition from fresh to salt water and the ecological and economic values associated with this important estuary.”

Bringing this new environmental resource to its fruition was a team of experienced environmental educators under the direction of DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program, who provided Project WET’s writers and editors with information about the Hudson’s fish, wildlife, habitat, and environmental issues.

“This team brought to the task a wealth of knowledge and great ideas for activities based on decades of teaching,” said Steve Stanne, education coordinator for NYSDEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program. “They provided the estuary essentials that Project WET’s talented staff of writers, illustrators, and designers wove into this colorful and engaging package.”

Bob Nyman, director of HEP, adds "The New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program is proud to be a partner on this project.  The special section on the urban  harbor should be recognizable to teachers and students in our core area, but one of the biggest benefits is showing how the entire bi-state watershed is connected."

Teachers who would like a free copy of Discover the Hudson River can request one directly from NYSG’s Holochuck for a limited time via E-mail, nch8@cornell.edu or phone, 845.340.3983. Copies are also available through Project WET’s online store for $1.25 per copy.  For a preview of the booklet, check out DEC’s Web site.

Discover the Hudson River will be incorporated into the programs offered by DEC environmental educators in New York City, and at the Hudson River Estuary Program, the Hudson River Research Reserve at Norrie Point in Staatsburg, Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center in Wappingers Falls, and Five Rivers Environmental Education Center in Delmar. It will also be included in the After School Conservation Club programs offered by DEC in New York City and Beacon.

Adds Holochuck, “I plan to distribute copies of Discover the Hudson River through the network of Cornell Cooperative Extension youth educators, and in conjunction with marine businesses that are involved in youth education.”

One in a series of activity booklets, Discover the Hudson River was created by Project WET to complement its internationally acclaimed water education programs. “Discover the Hudson River joins Project WET's award winning activity booklet series, Kids in Discovery,” said Dennis Nelson, President and CEO of Project WET. “Celebrating a unique watershed, this new addition promotes stewardship of the Hudson River with students worldwide.”

The goal of Project WET is to facilitate and promote awareness, appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship of water resources. The curriculum, designed for teachers and non-formal educators working with students in grades K-12, includes activities that are hands-on, easy to use and fun.

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