Educators can learn about horseshoe crabs

Local educators have a chance to learn about some fascinating creatures — horseshoe crabs.

An intensive, field-enriched workshop on horseshoe-crab ecology and the health of Long Island Sound, called Green Eggs and Sand, will be held Friday night through Saturday night, June 13-14, at Milford’s Audubon Coastal Center.

The program will be presented by Project Limulus, nationally known for its research on shoreline environmental issues centered around Limulus polyphemus, the horseshoe crab, and its local sponsor will be the Milford Environmental Protection Initiative (MEPI).

Registration is limited to about 20. The deadline for registration is May 1 — first-come, first-served. A MEPI grant will enable environmental educators from Milford to attend free.

Information about Project Limulus, which is run by faculty in the biology department at Sacred Heart University, can be found at sacredheart.edu (type Project Limulus into the search box); or at sacredheart.edu/academics/collegeofartssciences/academicdepartments/biology/projectlimulus/.

A registration form can be found at sacredheart.edu/media/sacredheart/biology/ESM_Project_Limulus-3.6.14.pdf.

The co-director of Project Limulus, and contact for the workshop, is Professor Jennifer Mattei, 203-365-7577, e-mail matteij@sacredheart.edu.

The two co-directors of the Project Limulus team have over 30 years of experience in environmental research and education, having taught more than 50 undergraduate research assistants, 2,000 elementary and secondary school students, and 200 teachers, plus a volunteer network of well over 500 concerned citizens who conduct tagging and spawning surveys.

The Green Eggs and Sand workshop has been refined and expanded over several years, with technical assistance from a Delaware-based horseshoe-crab project working around the Chesapeake Bay, and funding from several prominent public and private sources, including the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, and CT Sea Grant.

The curricular focus of the workshop is elementary school and up, primarily life science. Typical participants are biology teachers and non-formal educators, including those who work at marine aquaria, parks, wildlife refuges and other interpretive centers.

All participants receive instructional materials for the appropriate age-groups to take back to their classrooms, as well as horseshoe crab tagging kits and egg hatching/larval feeding kits for use with their students in the field.

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