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This week’s theme is Seabird Specialists!  Boston has many seabirds, which our sailing students often see out on the water.  Cormorants, gulls, and terns are among the most frequently noted species.  Though seabirds might not be the most glamorous creatures, they play an important role in the ecosystem and are actually more interesting than they might appear.  For example, Artic Terns, who often stop by Boston Harbor along their annual migration route, have one of the longest migrations (by distance) of any bird- traveling about 25,000 miles each year!

Cormorants are one of the animals that spend the most time in the water around the sailing center and tend to raise the most questions among our sailing students.  These sleek, black birds are some of the fastest and deepest diving birds in the world!  Most commonly, cormorants are spotted sitting on mooring balls and rocks with their wings outstretched because their feathers are not waterproof, unlike other birds whose feathers repel water to keep them warm.  Cormorant’s feathers intentionally absorb water to help weigh them down so they can dive deeper and faster to catch fish. 

Both cormorants and terns inspired this week’s activities.  More information on that coming soon!

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It is clear from Emily’s post that The Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean is an amazing organization who’s visit to Courageous Sailing Center is highly anticipated every year by students and staff alike!

I used to work for Rozalia Project as their Director of Outreach, so I know first hand how influential this organization really is.  Not only does Rozalia Project pick up trash from the surface of the water, the sea floor, and off beaches and coastlines around the country, but they also study the debris they find.  At Courageous, we use Rozalia Project’s data card to keep track of all the trash that we pick up.  This shows students that cleaning up debris really does make a difference and is part of important scientific studies.  Rozalia Project analyzes the data that we give them, along with their own data, to try to work towards solutions to marine debris. You can find Rozalia Project’s data card to use at your own facility here.

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