Conserving the Nature of America

News Release

Salmon in the Classroom Project Concludes at Boise-Eliot/Humboldt Elementary School

March 13, 2013


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

In the culmination of their three-month long participation in “Salmon in the Classroom,” nearly 100 fourth- and fifth-grade students took a 70-mile field trip Wednesday into the Columbia River Gorge to release a tankful of Chinook salmon fry in Washington’s Drano Lake.
Developed in coordination with Portland Public Schools, the Portland Black Parent Initiative, The Urban League, The Oregon Youth Development Council, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Salmon in the Classroom project uses salmon-themed natural resource lessons to educate elementary school students.
Beginning with an aquarium and salmon eggs placed in the classroom, Salmon in the Classroom enables students to learn through day-to-day observation in conjunction with units on Pacific Northwest ecology, salmon habitat and behavior, and fish anatomy.
Using curriculum developed by the Columbia River Gorge National Fish Hatchery Complex Information and Education Program, Salmon in the Classroom has been taught for decades in dozens of communities in the Columbia Gorge. The lessons at Boise-Eliot/Humboldt mark the first time the Service has taught Salmon in the Classroom in a Portland public school.
The Service’s conservation focus meshed well with Boise-Eliot/Humboldt’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math program. Talks last fall between The Oregon Youth Development Council and the Service brought Salmon in the Classroom from Oregon’s rural communities to students in its largest city.
Fish in the Boise-Eliot/Humboldt Salmon in the Classroom project have experienced good fortune. Every egg taken to the school on January 3, 2013, survived and today they begin the next step in their journey to the Pacific Ocean. In the meantime, students’ enthusiasm in learning more about salmon, environmental stewardship and maybe even conservation career pathways is on the rise at Boise-Eliot/Humboldt.
That fits well with the Service’s efforts to increase access to its conservation education programs and inspire people of all ages to learn about -- and care for -- fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats.
‘The Fish and Wildlife Service strives to foster environmental awareness and citizenship by connecting people with nature,” said Mike Carrier, Assistant Regional Director for Fishery Resources. “While the outdoors is always the best place to make that connection, Salmon in the Classroom offers urban students an opportunity to see conservation in action, inspire them to enjoy the outdoors and to contemplate a career path they might someday choose.”
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