Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge hosts Eldon High School on Earth Day
Midwest Region, April 22, 2008
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On April 22nd, Earth Day, the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife refuge hosted junior and senior high school students from Eldon, Missouri.  This is the second year for these students from Eldon to visit the refuge.  With help from Friends of Big Muddy, Columbia Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, and Missouri River Relief the 36 students were broken into four groups.  The four groups heard presentations with a similar theme from each of the partners including some hands on activities. 


The presentations focused on the Missouri River mitigation projects and how the refuge and its cooperators are attempting to reestablish and understand species needs for shallow water habitat lost to the channelization of the river.  Also shown were fish species found in the river including the common shovelnose sturgeon which resembles the endangered pallid sturgeon.  It was a productive day for the students who asked several engaging questions about the shallow water projects and the Missouri River.    


The tour followed up with a walk out to the Overton Chute in which students were shown a completed mitigation project.  The tour planned to include a trip on the river for the students but high river levels made the trip unsafe.


The trip for the students was made possible by Eldon High School teacher Jennifer Wellman who has applied to the Missouri Department of Conservations Field Trip grant program for the past two years and has been successful in receiving the grant.  The grant provides between $700 and $1400 for student transportation to the site and return.  With today high transportation costs schools can seldom afford additional opportunities to transport students to distant locations such as the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.     

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov
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