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Chesapeake Bay News

Apr
12
2010

Be Water Wise During Environmental Education Week

This post was adapted from the Bay Backpack blog.

Get involved in National Environmental Education Week, which runs from April 11th to the 17th.  The theme this year is Be Water and Energy Wise.  Water and energy conservation are a very important part of the Chesapeake restoration effort.  As more and more people move into the Chesapeake region, our need for electricity and water increases while the supply remains about the same.  So how can we address the needs of a growing population? The answer is simple: through CONSERVING our resources.

So how can YOUR school conserve during National Environmental Education Week?

Hold a School Water Audit

School water audits are a great way to get the entire school involved in a project for EE Week.  Audits are fun, hands-on and educational.  During a water audit your students will examine the ways they use water everyday and then discuss ways they can conserve water by using it more efficiently.  Look through the Water Audit Teacher’s Guide to find out how to get your school involved before, during and after your water audit.

Then use the Water Audit Lesson to actually conduct an audit at your school.  In this lesson students will examine the school’s water use over the past year, use flow meters to determine how much water sinks and toilets use and finally compare water use between classrooms.  Once your school completes its water audit you can share your data online with classrooms around the country!

Test the Water in Your Creek

Testing the quality of  the water in your local creek or river is a great way to engage students in hands-on learning about our water resources.  By purchasing a simple water testing kit (about $30) you can test your stream for the following:

  • Temperature
  • Turbidity/Clarity
  • pH
  • Nitrate
  • Phosphate
  • Coliform Bacteria
  • Dissolved Oxygen
  • Biochemical Oxygen Demand
  • Macro-Invertebrates

Using the water testing kit students can record observations about the health of their local stream.  With data in hand, you can examine the land around the stream to hypothesize why the stream is healthy or polluted. Your class map pipes from stormdrains and development in the area to try to determine the source of your water pollution.  Using this information students can then suggest ways to redesign development to minimize the impact on our water resources.

So get involved and BE WATER WISE this week!


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