Last Saturday, 21 October, Wheatley’s Environmental Action Committee (EAC) took its annual Autumn canoe trip. Mr. Finkelstein and Mr. Paulson led 17 students (grades 8-12) on this wonderful journey. This year, like most, we spent over three hours on the Nissequogue River. Starting in Nissequogue River State Park where the mouth of the river meets the Long Island Sound, our members paddled with the incoming tide six miles upstream to the headwaters of the River near the famous Smithtown Bull.
In addition to nearly 80 degree sunny blue skies, students enjoyed a variety of flora and fauna—not to mention the incredible fall foliage to enjoy. They also saw some wild cranberries floating in the river (Long Island was one of the world’s largest producer of cranberries before Ocean Spray took over in Massachusetts).
Some of the birds observed included:
- great blue herons
- American egrets
- yellow legs
- belted kingfishers
- red-tailed hawk
- an immature bald eagle (a first since starting these trips 25 years ago!!)
The sighting of the bald eagle is a great sign. In fact, they are now nesting at 6 or 7 locations on Long Island—a testament to the efficacy of the Endangered Species Act.
An informative and fun time was had by all!
Thank you to Steve Finkelstein for the write-up! Thank you to Steve Finkelstein and DJ Paulson for the photos!