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Community Connections

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Alcona students gave back to the city of Harrisville, the Harrisville Harbor, and Michigan DNR Boater Access sites bypicking up trash along the shore of Lake Huron as part of their Our Fisheries, Our Future place-based stewardship education project. This activity made improvements to the overall economic value of the town by removing waste and improving the aesthetic of the harbor and boating access site, thus making it more appealing to Great Lakes boaters. Developing student stewards of our Great Lakes and natural resources in and with communities is the purpose of the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative and Our Fisheries, Our Future.

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Power in Partnership

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Through the Our Fisheries, Our Future place-based stewardship education projects, Alcona Elementary students have engaged with a variety of partners. Interactions with partners like Eric Ostrander with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Brandon Schroeder with Michigan Sea Grant helped youth learn about the value of "commonly held" natural resources like state parks as students helped remove more that 37 lbs of trash from along Lake Huron in the Harrisville State Park campground. Alcona students also partnered with the city of Harrisville, the Harrisville Harbor and DNR Boater Access sites to prevent marine debris by picking up trash. The Salmon in the Classroom project at Alcona Elementary School was made possible through Michigan Sea Grant, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Michigan DNR. Students raised salmon throughout the school year until they released them into Mill Creek at the Harrisville Harbor. Prior to releasing the salmon, students conducted a habitat audit, and measured and weighed each individual fry. This project gave students the opportunity to participate in STEM activities in their own communities.

Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences

Alcona Elementary School students ventured to Harrisville Harbor, as part of a field exploration of water ecosystem studies. Students used this site to sample fish along the shoreline, studying ecosystem biodiversity. Later in the year they released the salmon they had raised as part of the Salmon in the Classroom into Mill Creek. Students measured and weighed each fish before the release to calculate the overall health of their fish. On another field visit to Harrisville State Park, students conducted an assessment of the water quality of a creek that flows through the park by collecting and identifying macroinvertebrate. That same day, students used the Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach protocols and data sheets for a litter cleanup at the Harrisville State Park. At the end of the day, students had picked up trash and applied math by completing tallies of the different trash items found. Students took great pride in the litter they removed and their contributions to water quality conservation. Earlier in the year, Michigan Sea Grant Educator Brandon Schroeder visited Alcona students to discuss the impact of marine debris and the importance of removing trash, especially plastic, from our lakes and rivers.

120 Students are involved in this project.

7 Teachers are involved in this project.