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Hudson Montessori School Earns Grant to Monitor American Eels

Hudson Montessori School has been selected to receive a $2,500 Capacity Building grant for monitoring American eels in northern New Jersey courtesy of the New York-New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program (HEP) and Hudson River Foundation. The grant will be used by our students to bring awareness for this topic as one of their sustainable development goals. We are hoping they will mentor and collaborate with neighboring schools for this project as well.

We are also working with Liberty State Park Nature Center and NY-NJ Baykeepers to bring and expand this project.

The eel monitoring project is a collection of students, scientists, and volunteers who inspect young American eels using eel mops, a piece of equipment that simulates an ideal juvenile eel habitat. They use specialized humane nets and temporary habitats in various places along the Hudson River to collect data. While monitoring the health of the river, they identified the importance of this invaluable species from its history, its current state, to how they can preserve and protect it.

American eels are a key component in understanding the health of the Hudson River estuary ecosystem. With eel populations on the decline worldwide, the student’s data helps organizations like the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) make crucial management decisions.

Our students' involvement in the American eel project is only one of the many facets in our upper elementary STEAM curriculum. All of our elementary students participate in the Day in the Life of the Hudson River and Harbor, hosted by NYDEC and in collaboration with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.

“The activities centered with this project will allow students and our urban community to connect with nature, recognizing the critical role the American eel plays in the Hudson River’s system,” Dr. Grace Sanvictores, one of our STEAM educators, said. “This project is a creative avenue that will allow our local community to understand the importance of sharing a livable urban environment for them and the organisms of the Hudson River.”

This program, funded by the New York-New Jersey Harbor and Estuary Program, provides a channel to educate scientists of all ages, as well as our city planners and local citizens who care for our Hudson River home.

To learn more about Hudson Montessori School’s STEAM Program or other programs we offer to our students ages 2 to 8th grade, schedule a virtual school or middle school information session through our admissions page.

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