Wild and Scenic: A Child's Viewpoint


Bay Day Essays by Students at the Maurice River Township Elementary School

Maurice River Township students were asked by the local environmental committee to express their feelings about the Maurice River and the Delaware Bay in celebration of Earth Day. Prizes were awarded at the annual Bay Day festival. Following are some of the winning compositions from 1994 to 1996, written by youngsters in grades 4th through 6th. They allow us to read, in the students' own words, what it means to be a child within the special environment that is the Wild and Scenic Maurice River region.


Fallon B. Garcia

I go down to the bay almost every day. I like it best when the breeze A Child at the Bayis just right and the birds are singing. Sometimes I'll get lucky and find a turtle. I like to see the funny looking crabs try to hurry across the sandy road. I like to count the numbers of different sounds and shadows.

There is no litter or not too many people down there so it's nice and peaceful. Sometimes if you listen hard it sounds like the wind is whispering something like a song, and it repeats itself every time the wind blows. I get so interested my mom has to come to get me.

I'm glad I live by the bay because every day is a new adventure .


John DiOrio

I think that the Delaware Bay and the Maurice River are important because they provide us with fish, crabs, oysters, clams, and mussels. The back marshes help protect the young fish and crabs until they grow big enough to swim to the open bay and river.

In late spring to early summer the horseshoe crabs come into shore along the bay to lay their eggs. About the same time the shorebirds, like the ruddy turnstone, are migrating north and stop to feed on the horseshoe crab eggs. Then they finish their journey northward.

There are many butterflies that are commonly seen, like the common sulphur, hairstreak, monarch, tiger swallowtail, black swallowtail, cabbage white, and crescentspot. And there are some that are not so common, like the gulf fritillary, giant swallowtail, great southern white, falcate orangetip, giant cloudless sulphur, and long-tailed skipper.

Many of the butterflies are around this area because of the plants and flowers that are here. Three of the monarch's favorite plants are the milkweed, dogbane, and butterflyweed. All of these are common along the river and bay area. Other butterflies feed on many of the plants that are grown in the area, like Queen Anne's lace, beebalm, clover, spicebush, vetch, and chicory.

Each year more ospreys are being seen Nesting Ospreynesting along bay and marshes. There are more osprey stands being put up, and the ospreys are finding them and making nests on them. Each year the number of ospreys are going up. Eagles are also seen, but only rarely. Maurice River and Delaware Bay are special places because they don't have the pollution or large population that other parts of New Jersey have. I hope that when I get older it is still the way it is now.


Grayson Hooper

As I watch the water of the Delaware Bay ruffle, I can't help but think to myself the importance of the bay to the animal society. The bay is a wonderland of living creatures. As the life cycle goes on, the bay stays the same in its inner beauty.

I personally love the bay. I like to fish and walk along the sparkling shores of the bay. The bay is also very fragile in its workings. If the cycle is disturbed by too much industry, the animals will perish in mankind's greedy hunt for money. The fish and other organisms are the owners of the bay. I hope in the future the bay will still be in its original form. This is one of God's prized creations.


Krysta Parker

When I go to the Delaware Bay it makes me feel relaxed. I love to go down by the edge of the water and just barely let my toes touch it. Sometimes I like to go off by the lighthouse and try to catch butterflies. I like to feel the soft sand on my feet and in between my fingers.

When I go down to the Delaware Bay I like to collect shells, take them home and paint little pictures on them. For Easter my grandmother collected some and let me paint on them. After I was done, I took them home and hung the shells on a tree. I put it in a basket and then set it on my dining room table. It really made it look nice! One time, my grandmother and I decided to go down to the lighthouse and try to paint a picture of it. Well, the greenheads East Point Lightstarted to attack us because it was summertime. So finally my grandmother and I agreed that we should go in the water. Then we ran in the water and had a good time!

About a year ago, my parents, my dog , and I went down to the lighthouse to cool off my dog because it was very hot out. My dog and I went in the water together because she got me all wet while she was running around. It was really, really fun! If I could live down near the lighthouse, I would!


Latasha Archie

I think the river is very beautiful. There are so many things you could do, for instance, I like to pick flowers and give them to my mother. I always wanted to go fishing in a boat with my aunt. I also like to build sand castles, but mine never come out right. I like the way the waves sound when they brush against a big rock and I imagine the clouds as animals .

I also like to catch flounder and eat it. My mom, my brother, and I went to the river with the dog so he could run wild. My mom was picking up the king crabs and was chasing me and my brother. Then we took a long walk in the mud. When we went home, our shoes were black. Even though we were messy, I had a nice time and can't wait to go again.


Ronnie Riggins

As the water from the Maurice RiverWaterskiing at Sunset splashes up on my face, where I fell off water skiing, I wonder: "What would I do without all of this? Without the beautiful flowers and the awesome Bald Eagle flying above us. Without the best tasting fish, without the cool refreshing water, without the crabs biting my toes, what would I do?"

Probably sit home and watch T.V. and become fat. Without the Maurice River and Delaware Bay, I wouldn't get a lot of exercise because I wouldn't be reeling in fish, or swimming, or even falling off of the water skis.

As I swim back to the boat I continue to think about the Maurice River. It is where I live in the summer. Without the river and Delaware Bay there would be no summer fun in the sun. I would probably become bored with this town!!!



East

A Maurice River Page to Color

Click on the picture for a large copy of East Point Lighthouse, with a horseshoe crab and a shorebird, to download and color.



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