Tidal marshes and their accompanying mud flats are among the most biologically productive areas in existence serving, it is thought by mainstream theoreticians, as a foremost exporter of organic matter from the land mass to the marine environment.
They also function as feeding and spawning grounds, as nursery and sheltering area for a wide variety of marine and estuarine organisms, ranging from crustacea to water birds as well as finfish and shellfish.
Mud flats and salt marshes are inseparable as estuarine subsystems connected as they are by the ebb and flow of the tides. The tidal change, although not traditionally thought to be part of the geology of an area, must of necessity be considered here. Owing to this condition any situation which influences one part of City Point must of necessity influence the estuary as a whole.
Clemente Middle School is situated within a mile of this historically, geologically and ecologically rich area. This unit will utilize the area, as an inner city environment, as a learning lab for middle school students who benefit from the hands-on approach of such real experiences. In addition to having a look at the history and geological structure of the area, map studies will be used, both as a research tool, and as a method of introducing students to the information contained in maps and, once the information is extracted, the students will be ready to use it.