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St. Margaret Regional School, Bourne, Massachusetts


Pam Caradimos


The Agawam River begins in Long Pond in Plymouth, Masssachusetts and travels 13 miles downstream converging with the Wankinco River in Wareham. This brackish water then flows into Wareham River and finally, into the salt waters of Buzzards Bay.

Six different groups of 7th and 8th grade students have waded into the Agawam River to collect data over the past six years, with the expert and dedicated assistance of Dr. Curry and Kim McCoy. Our project has focused on the quality of the river ecosystem at two sites, about one mile apart, upstream from the Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF). The WPCF has just completed their three year project of constructing a Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal System. Our project members have data for five years prior to the upgrade and our goal is to continue to collect data for five years after the upgrade. We will compare data.

The historical significance of our site is evident in the ecosystem. The soil is reddish in color, detailing the fact that this once was a cannonball manufacturing site. Ruins of an 18th century rolling mill confirmed our historical research. The river is abutted by cranberry bogs, roads, and pond side homes.

This year’s project focused on the relationship of the Agawam River water flow into Buzzards Bay, into Onset Bay, and the impact the quality of the river water may have on the zostera marina (eelgrass) in Onset Bay. Our Environment Enrichment Program has another project in which students transplant eelgrass in Onset Bay. Our eighth grade River Project members eloquently summed up their findings by writing their closing comment, “One Water - In the circle of life, we are all connected by water.”

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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