Saturday, 23th February, ecopatrol children explored sea ecosystems.
They started by learning something about life in the ocean and in its three most important areas: benthic (sea bottom), littoral (coastal area), and pelagic (free water column). Then, they experienced through games the characteristics of the food pyramids in the sea, from the main source of energy, the sun, to plants, algae, and phytoplankton that use this energy to produce nourishment and oxygen, to herbivores, to the predators at the top of the pyramid.
With the game “the survival of coral reefs”, children found out what are corals and how they are threatened. They learnt that stress is a condition that affects not only humans: when stressed, polyps excrete certain chemical compounds that unfortunately result attractive for some starfish that eat them.
Then, children discovered that flowering plants live not only on land. The most important sea plant in the Mediterranean is Neptune’s grass Posidonia oceanica. With a team game, the kids learnt its importance as an habitat for many creatures and in preventing erosion. They also examined the main threats that affect Posidonia meadows – threats of which the humans are the main culprits.
At the end of the day, ecopatrol children proved again how creative they are by presenting the different ecosystems about which they were learning and by creating strange fish that live in the extreme living conditions of the dark and cold sea depths.