Changing Hudson Project

Cadmium in the Cove

Resource Type: 
Grades: 
9-12

How did Foundry Cove get to be “the most cadmium polluted site in the world”? 

Cadmium in the Cove: What happened to it?

Resource Type: 

Students will know the origins of cadmium in the Hudson River, and will be able to integrate information from maps and text to describe how and why distribution of cadmium changed from 1975 to 1983

Natural Selection & Evolution

Grades: 
9-12

This unit integrates ecology and evolution by focusing on the story of Foundry Cove, where thousands of pounds of cadmium waste were dumped from the 1950s through 1970s.  Surprisingly, a species of mud worm became resistant to the chemicals within a very short period of time, illustrating the principles of evolution through a local story.  By using non-fiction articles and readings along with hands on activities and graphic organizers, students will explore the events at Foundry Cove, how the resistance developed over time, and the larger consequences for the Hudson River ecosystem.  The culminating lesson asks students to explore the evolution of resistance to PCBs in Hudson River tomcod using popular media articles. 

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Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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