Field Trips

The River Project's Field Trips offer students from New York City schools the opportunity to experience the ecosystem of the Hudson River Estuary. The program introduces students and teachers to marine science and issues of urban ecology through informative lectures on New York City waterway-related topics and hands-on activities at Pier 40 or aboard the steamship Lilac at Pier 25 in Manhattan. Visits are designed by The River Project staff to fit the ages, goals, and expectations of each participating group, and can be subject-specific upon request. The programs enable teachers and students of all ages to experience field science at work in an urban environment with a non-urban feel. 

Field trip options

Pier 40
This program provides in-depth discussions of the history of the estuary and examination and handling of live local aquatic organisms in the Wetlab at Pier 40. Students learn about the morphology and physiology of the live animals and preserved specimens on display, and the importance of conservation in an urban setting. The students also use water-testing and species-sampling equipment. Other topics covered in this program include, but are not limited to "Biodiversity and Ecology", "Form and Function", and "What We Can Do To Help". Oyster and plankton stations are popular activities at Pier 40 as well. This trip has a maximum capacity of 40 students. 

Pier 25
This program combines marine science with maritime history. Students board a historic steamship called the Lilac, are given a tour of the rooms, and discuss the historical importance of the ship. After the tour, the students pull up fish traps and crab pots to examine the catch of the day. Many vertebrates and invertebrates are caught and released in this species-monitoring program, while others are brought to the tanks at Pier 40 as temporary residents. A full list of species caught in this species-monitoring program can be found here. This trip has a maximum capacity of 25 students. 

For more information regarding rates and schedules, contact Director of Education Melissa Rex at or call (212) 233-3030. Field trip season is March through November. The River Project does not host field trips in December, January or February because our Wetlab is closed.