RECIRCULATING AQUAPONIC SYSTEM REBUILD
Why Does Your Support Matter?
Why Do We Teach Aquaponics?
Nitrogen cycles, plant biology, fish anatomy, math, chemistry and ecology are some of the hands-on learning our students experience using the aquaponics system as a teaching tool.
Because we want to empower students to become stewards
of the Maine coastal environment.
In order to do that, they need basic skills and real life examples. One example is aquaponics. Aquaponics provides sustainable, year-round jobs for a new generation of farmers. Year-round farming, means year-round employment. With a high percentage of our students being from families within the fishing industry, it’s critical we teach alternative methods of sustainable living, such as aquaponics, kelp growing, oyster farming, etc.
Advocates of aquaponics say the systems are doubly sustainable: they provide year-round farming jobs and are environmentally friendly. Aquaponic systems use about 90 percent less water than what conventional growers use in soil. In addition, most aquaponics farms are local, reducing shipping pollution and the food waste that comes along with trucking perishable products across the country. Educating our student on the benefits of having a greenhouse and available produce on the peninsula is a unique hands-on teaching tool.
In 2018, the United States was home to about 40 percent of all aquaponics operations globally. Even during Maine’s harsh winters, Maine has a really strong local food movement, so the demand is high. Growing local also has an added sustainability benefit: reducing food miles. Most of the lettuce in the United States is grown in California and Arizona, whereas Maine-grown aquaponic lettuce does not accrue the carbon generated by a cross-country journey.
With your financial support, you can empower students.
Our current need is a new aquaponic recirculating system.
Please consider donating to HGLC to assist in the expense of providing these programs and for the additional expense this year of rebuilding this system. Your donation will assist in paying for fish tanks, PVC piping, filters, pumps, aerators and more!!
NEW! Summer Student Internship Program
Herring Gut Summer Student Internship is a compensated opportunity for students at Herring Gut Learning Center (HGLC). The goal of this program is to allow students to build upon their knowledge and growth while gaining relevant work experience. The Summer Student Interns will work independently and alongside HGLC staff to manage sustainable food systems, sell produce, maintain saltwater systems, and act as representatives of HGLC to the community. Through this internship, candidates can expect to gain valuable experience in marine science, aquaponics, horticulture, public engagement, and leadership skills. Summer Student Interns will report to HGLC staff.
- Maintenance of aquaponics facilities at HGLC
- Maintenance of saltwater systems at HGLC
- Lead tours of HGLC campus
- Engage with the public regarding marine science specimens
- Work collaboratively with HGLC staff to support educational programs
- Work as a team member with other Summer Student Interns
and HGLC staff members
- Assist in set-up and clean up of HGLC programs
- Help with other Herring Gut operations as needed
- Participation in one or more school-year long courses at Herring Gut through Oceanside Middle School or St. George School (formerly School of Roots and Long Line Kelp Growers) is preferred. Participants of Oceanside High School’s NOVA program are also able to apply.
- 5-19 years old during the course of the program
- Good work ethic with enthusiasm to learn
- Ability to work with a group or independently
- Reliable, flexible, positive attitude, and sense of humor
8 weeks, approximately 96 hour position.
The internship will begin on Monday, June 29th, 2020 and end on Wednesday, August 19th, 2020. Interns will work Mondays and Wednesdays the hours of 8:30am – 2:30pm.
Student interns have options to be paid an hourly rate of $12/hour OR receive community service hours. High school course credit may be available depending on the Student Intern’s high school.Applications can be found at www.herringgutlearningcenter.org.
Completed applications should be returned to Liz Bowe by April 17, 2020. We will be accepting applications and interviewing candidates on a rolling basis. For more information, please do not hesitate to reach out to Liz at [email protected] or 207-372-8677
Dry Mills State Fish Hatchery
Herring Gut students had the opportunity to visit Dry Mills recently. We would like to extend a special thank you to Greg, Kyle, Ashley and Mike for sharing their time and expertise with us.
The Dry Mills State Fish Hatchery was established in 1933.The facility was originally constructed by the Federal Works Project Administration (WPA) in conjunction with the New Gloucester State Fish Hatchery, with the intent to create the largest hatchery in the world. This plan was abandoned when it was discovered that it would be impossible to maintain adequate water quality for the many raceways being constructed. In 1960, the original rearing pools were renovated into concrete raceways, with further development in the mid-1980’s. In 2004, a facility bulk oxygenation system was added and the “hatch house” buildings were fully modernized by 2009.
The iconic round pond was completely renovated in 2013, including a new informational building with fish viewing tanks.Water for the facility is supplied by a series of natural groundwater springs from three primary catch basins that are capable of providing a flow of 1,200 gallons per minute at fairly constant temperatures.Species reared at the Dry Mills facility include brook trout.The facility’s annual production is 95,000 catchable fish (>40,000 lbs).
Our students learned that The Dry Mills Hatchery serves as one of the primary suppliers of brook trout eggs from Kennebago broodstock, and the primary egg incubation facility producing advanced brook trout fry transferred to other rearing stations operated by the Department on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Professional Learning Workshops Summer 2020
2.5 days of experiential learning located at Herring Gut Learning Center’s campus in Port Clyde, Maine. Each workshop attendee leaves with a binder full of pre-made and tested lessons!
Also included: continental breakfast each morning, two complimentary lunches, and a local excursion sure to be one of the highlights of your summer!
Introduction to Aquaponics: Dynamic STEAM for K-8 Classrooms
July 15-17, 2020 $550
Explore the many ways aquaponics can be easily integrated into your classroom. Participate in hands-on lessons and experiments that use aquaponics to demonstrate water and nitrogen cycles, plant biology, fish anatomy, math, chemistry and ecology to students. Set up and take home your own classroom aquaponics kit – a complete recirculating aquaculture system with tank, filters, pumps and planting media that will change the way you teach science.
Marine Science in Your Classroom
July 22-24, 2020 $500
Let the ocean be your classroom! Introduce your students to Maine’s marine environments using hands-on learning. Learn about ways the Gulf of Maine supports fisheries, businesses, communities, ecological processes, and more. Become comfortable bringing the ocean and ocean stewardship into your classroom through hands-on lessons and projects.
Exploring Your Watershed
July 29-31, 2020 $625
We are all connected through our water resources –water runs downhill and we all live in a watershed. Learn about the abiotic, biotic, and cultural aspects of your local watershed and the broader region that supports it. Create a sense of stewardship in your students regarding their vital freshwater resources. You will walk away with a variety of lessons, taught both in the classroom and in nature, connecting your students to their local watershed and beyond.
August 5-7, 2020 $400
Learn from our experiences doing project-based learning (PBL) with hundreds of students at Herring Gut. This teaching method allows students to develop a sense of ownership and purpose in their learning process. Developing authentic topics to engage students for an extended period can be daunting, let us share our expertise in PBL developed over the past 20 years.
Detailed information regarding these workshops, including registration, material kits, and CEU’s, will be available early Spring 2020. Keep an eye on our Facebook and website, or email [email protected] and ask to be added to our email list!