Lincoln Academy students took a boat ride on the River Tripper in early September, with Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust educator Sarah Gladu as their instructor and tour guide.

Last week Lincoln Academy students had the opportunity to learn about the Damariscotta Estuary on the River Tripper thanks to Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust. Students from Janna Civittolo’s Science class, Betsy Grannis’s Oceanography class, and Tim Gladu’s Biology class learned about river ecology and oyster farming.

The trip was offered by Coastal Rivers as part of weekly science and service learning programs with LA students. Sarah Gladu, Director of Education at Coastal Rivers, provided hands-on learning about oysters and other river flora and fauna during the boat ride.

The students learned about the ecological connections between the Gulf of Maine and the Damariscotta estuary, looked at phytoplankton under a microscope, examined an opened oyster to look for the beating heart and gills, and saw working aquaculture farms in action.

Sophomore Eric Fraughton, who went on the trip, said “it was really amazing and calming being out on the water. It was cool when the oyster farmers pulled up next to us and handed us oysters.”

“Every day LA students benefit from collaboration with local businesses like Damariscotta River Cruises and organizations like Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust.” said Director of Community Engagement and Development Heather D’Ippolito. “These relationships with community partners add both depth and local connection to our classroom education.”

Coastal Rivers is a non-profit, member-supported, nationally accredited land trust caring for the lands and waters of the Damariscotta-Pemaquid Region by conserving special places, protecting water quality, creating trails and public access, and deepening connections to nature through education programs. For more information, email or visit