Scene Around: Rumson River Rats & Oyster Lessons Learned

Gulp? They say that oysters come in their own little spoons, ready to serve up their own nuggets of goodness from their deep water beds. But, as far as some Rumson kids are concerned, the looks on their faces while slurping what some call raw culinary delights tells a horror story that needs to be chased with a spoon full of sugar to make that river medicine go down.

The story of the oyster tasting of the kid kind unfolded the other day as the Rumson riverfront-raised seventh graders from Forrestdale School, 100 of them, learned lessons about the bumpy-shelled bivalves that make pearls for the gullet and neck and their critical role in the good health of the ecosystem. In an oyster shell, they keep the water clean via a natural filtration system.

As part of a program of the American Littoral Society’s (with an office on Sandy Hook for ages) dubbed Operation Oyster, the kids gathered with science teacher Jennifer Crow and the Society’s Education director, Nicole Haines to get immersed in “marine and environmental science through both in-class work and immersive field-based opportunities,” she said in a social media post.

The field of study for the day, June 13 to 14, was the Rumson Boat Launch.

“We hope it impresses on them how the bays, estuaries and coast are part of their personal heritage and responsibility,” Haines added.

So, while at the boat launch, students got a hands-on opportunity to see the kind of marine life native to the Navesink River, which has been, for ages, largely oysters. In addition to seining and net casting, students spent time exploring the adjacent wetlands and writing a poem about oysters.

And, yes, part of the program was touching, smelling and eating the raw oysters (provided by The Lusty Lobster in Highlands), as some dared to, and much to their river-raised recoil. Repugnance may be a bit strong … stronger than the acquired taste of the oyster lover.

As the priceless photos, courtesy of the American Littoral Society, show, a spoonful of oyster makes the lesson come up. Looks like the Forrestdale kids are all, or most, for letting cleaning oysters lie … in their beds to protect their coast and the water around their hometown.

As for cleaning up their oyster eating act, for now, the photos are just far too entertaining. Take a look to get a glimpse into the learning, shock and horror of the Rumson-raised down by their river. (Be sure to CLICK on one to ENLARGE & SCROLL. Enjoy!)

Thanks to the American Littoral Society for these classic comedic pics!

— Photos and information/American Littoral Society social media post