They might just be 12 students in Grades 6 and 7 at Catonsville Middle School, but this mighty dozen is also part of a global team monitoring water quality.
On October 17, the students, members of the school’s environmental club, met with Maryland Secretary of the Environment Benjamin H. Grumbles to commemorate the 44th anniversary of the Clean Water Act and participate in the World Water Monitoring Project. The students are among 1.4 million people in more than 144 countries collecting and reporting data on the local watershed. The students observe pH, dissolve oxygen, and test turbidity (cloudiness) of the Cooper Branch stream. Tests are completed throughout the year and entered into the global data base.
“So far this year, we have focused on the health of the Patapsco River watershed, specifically the Cooper Branch stream behind the school,” explains Aaron Sporik, the environmental club’s advisor and a Grade 6 science teacher at Catonsville Middle. “Students, parents, and teachers also have participated in weekend events organized by the Patapsco Heritage Greenway to help clean streams in the Catonsville area.”
Students appreciate that they have an opportunity to contribute to the health of the environment. Sophie I. says that activities like the World Water Monitoring Project “are important because they help to make sure the water is healthy, and we need to be the ones to take care of the environment.”
Troy L. adds, “We can use the stream assessment to see the health of the stream and the things that live in it. If something is wrong or changing, then we can see how it affects the living things and do something about it.”
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