It was a beautiful fall day on the pier, with the spectacular backdrop of the New Jersey skyline under striking cloud formations. Over 100 children and teenagers who attended this year’s “Release of the Fishes” on November 3rd were having a great time. The event was an opportunity for City children who might not have many occasions to interact with nature, to learn some piscine facts. The fish were part of an experiment at the Wetlab at Pier 40. The River Project had caught the fish in unbaited traps set to hang just above the bottom of the river. While at the lab, the fish were studied by researchers and used in educational programs. They had been there for many months, but it was time for them to go back before the water got too cold. Once released, some, like the porgies, would look for a school to join, while others would hibernate. The participants were given buckets, each containing a fish, which they would bring to the water to be released. As the fish were released, divers documented their dash to freedom. Children also had the chance to plunge a sieve into a shallow enclosure and examine what they pulled up, mostly mollusks and crustaceans. They seemed to enjoy this as well. Toland (left), an NYU senior in environmental science who works at the River Project, and another participant, are pictured above lowering a bucket into the Hudson River. Text by Caroline Benveniste. Photo by Maggie Berkvist.