June 3 – 16, 2016Vol. 18, No. 1

Tadpole Patrol: Summer Fun in the Watershed!

Tadpole Patrol is the Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed's innovative and immersive learning experience aboard the Otter II, our 22' pontoon boat. For 11 years, children have boarded our "floating classroom" to learn about lake ecology and how to test and protect water quality. Today, we offer five different versions of Tadpole Patrol for children of all ages to explore, play and learn outdoors in the Cobbossee Watershed!

The Tadpole Patrol program offers five different levels of lake exploration. Level 1 is the original Tadpole Patrol program geared for children entering grades 2-4. At this level, children will experience the ecology of the lake through exploration, observing wildlife both in and out of the water and learn the basics of water testing with professional equipment!

The second level is TP II- Lake Science Investigators (LSI) and is for children entering grades 4-6. Level II investigators become "science investigators" as they practice their observation and data collection skills with their own keepsake journal. Participants are able to view aquatic life using an underwater camera and begin to learn about identifying native and non-native plant species as well as the threat of invasive aquatic plants to the area.

TP3-Jr. Lake Monitors is the third level offered for youth entering grades 6 and up. Level 3 participants continue their scientific investigations as they are educated to conduct proper water quality date measurements themselves and will compare their collected data with data recorded by the scientists at Cobbossee Watershed District. Our fourth version, Spotter's Amphibious Adventures is for children ages 8 and older where both land and water are explored! Participants cruise with the Friends to a private island to explore, learn all about the importance of riparian areas and the basics of "Leave No Trace" principles.

Lastly, we've heard from years that parents would like to join the Friends on our "floating classroom"! What better way to enjoy a beautiful summer day than out on the lakes with the whole family! Families enjoy an 1 hour excursion where "kids of all ages" can observe wildlife above and below the water, share historical lake facts and experience water monitoring with professional equipment.

All Tadpole Patrol programs take place aboard the Friend's 22' pontoon boat, the Otter II. This "floating classroom" enables all participants to have a unique, interactive, and most importantly FUN experience that teaches them about the importance of watershed protection and water quality. The Friend's 2016 Tadpole Patrol programs are generously supported by Clark Marine, Augusta Fuel Company and Kennebec Savings Bank. Please visit the Friends website for the 2016 Tadpole Patrol schedule and registration forms.