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River Fest Question Quest!

How long do geoducks live? How do mushrooms help rivers? Where does driftwood come from?
These questions and many more made up the River Fest Fact Quest at the Dungeness River Festival, where Five Acre School’s “Soundwaves” marimba group performed on Friday.
Afterriver fest 1 their performances, the students took the opportunity to see the sights laid out before them at the Audubon Center’s annual shindig. The answers to all those quest-questions were to be found at all of the various booths set up around Railroad Bridge Park. There was an oversized septic tank the kids could walk through (sans sludge) and a great compost demonstration. Our own neighbors from the Dungeness Wildlife Refuge were there, along with the US Forest Service and Olympic National Park with some very tactile wildlife displays. Even the Clallam County Gem and Mineral Association and the Olympic Peninsula Mycology Society had fun stuff to share.
I caught up with the students at the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary’s booth, where they were asking the question, “Which popular marine mammal in our local waters eats salmon exclusively?” Together with local coastal tribes and the National Park, among others, the Sanctuary helps protect 135 miles of coastline, one of the longest stretches of wilderness coastline in the lower 48 States. Education and outreach is one of their primary tools, especially with children.river festival 2
They had a table set up with the skulls of marine salmon predators for the kids to choose from, all of them with “nasty, big, pointy teeth!” The Sanctuary’s representatives had heard everything from alligators to a T-Rex as answers to their question, but most got it right after a bit of investigation.
It was of course the biggest skull on the table – a replica of an Orca Whale’s (we apparently have a local one who has a very exclusive pallet).
Be sure to catch us next year at the Festival, along with all of the other great sights to see and things to do (can you say “fish printing”?!).