Wheatley has long partnered with the Long Island Traditions to help explore traditional maritime culture in the age of Sandy and the decline of commercial and recreational fishing on Long Island. The partnership is centered on the College Regional Studies course (12th grade) at Wheatley (taught by Dr. John Staudt).
As part of this College Regional Studies course, Dr. Staudt’s students have been using the fishing industry as a model to examine the occupational and recreational traditions of fishermen and baymen on Long Island, focusing on Nassau County’s north and south shores. They have learned about the tools and traps, boats and nets, rods and bait that are used by recreational and commercial fishermen from various communities on Long Island, identified by folklorist Nancy Solomon, Executive Director of Long Island Traditions.
Last month, some of the maritime professionals spent the morning at Wheatley showcasing their crafts. One of the final components of this program was a field trip to Freeport on the south shore, where students learned to fish on board a charter fishing boat, guided by the crew and a master recreational fisherman. The students also learned about the bay’s ecology and the various kinds of fish that travel in the western bays. They also learn what kinds of bait fish respond to in this migratory estuary.
[Thank you to Dr. Staudt for the program description and the photos from the trip to Freeport!]