Hudson River Ecology

How does the Hudson River ecosystem respond to different types of changes over time? Are these changes permanent, and how will the ecosystem respond? Our curriculum addresses these questions through modules which combine unique and engaging Hudson River data collected by the Cary Institute and other scientists, investigations, readings, and visualizations.

Freshwater Tidal Wetlands


Freshwater tidal wetlands are a unique ecosystem of the Hudson River estuary, and these lessons will help students understand their importance along with some of the challenges due to a changing climate. 

  • Lesson 1: What are Freshwater Tidal Wetlands?

    Students brainstorm and share what they already know about wetlands, and sketch a simple tidal marsh diagram with vegetation zones and appropriate organisms. 

  • Lesson 2: Wetlands are...

    Students will know the functions of wetlands and will be able to explain at least one function performed by wetlands.

  • Lesson 3: Wetlands & Nitrates

    Students will know how plants are able to remove nitrate pollution, and will be able to compare differences in nitrate uptake by aquatic or terrestrial plants.

  • Lesson 4: Build-a-Marsh

    Students will know the benefits of different types of plants in each tidal zone of a tidal marsh wetland and will be able to design a wetland based on specific provided requirements.  

  • Lesson 5: Hudson Marshes & Climate Change

    Students will know how sea level rise may impact a local freshwater tidal marsh, and will be able to explain the changes to vegetation types. 

  • Lesson 6: Investigating a Hudson Freshwater Tidal Wetland

    Students will know how tides affect plant community distribution and nutrient uptake in a freshwater tidal wetland and will be able to investigate their ideas through a field trip to the wetland.

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