Wednesday, October 01, 2008

World Water Monitoring Day

(This entry was provided by Mrs. Platt, 4th/5th grade teacher at Evergreen Avenue School.)

Last Wednesday, September 24, 2008, Mrs. Jill Platt’s fourth and fifth grade class at Evergreen Elementary School in Woodbury, NJ participated in World Water Monitoring Day. Accompanied by Mr. Stephen Platt, a national ground water expert with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Philadelphia’s Region 3 office, Mrs. Platt’s class conducted water quality sampling at Stewart Lake in Woodbury.

Stewart Lake drains into Woodbury Creek, which eventually discharges into the Delaware River. Dams prevent tidal flow from the Delaware River into the lake. Stewart Lake receives runoff from a park as well as storm water runoff from an urban environment. Maintaining good water quality in Stewart Lake helps to contribute to the protection of the Delaware Estuary system.

World Water Monitoring Day is celebrated worldwide from mid-September through mid-October each year. It is estimated that 60 countries from across the globe participate in the collection of water samples from lakes, streams, and rivers in order to assess the quality of the world’s water. All of the data collected from the sampling is stored on a national database and is used to determine where improvements in water quality need to be made.

Mrs. Platt’s students enjoyed collecting the water samples, observing the wildlife at the lake and learning about what needs to be done to protect our water resources from pollution. This is the sixth year that Mrs. Platt’s class and EPA Region 3 have joined forces to participate in this event.

The sampling results from 2008 were the best since sampling began in 2003; it indicats that the water quality at Stewart Lake is very good and capable of supporting many forms of wildlife. In fact, the students were able to see a family of ducks, a blue heron eating small fish and a baby snapper turtle during this year’s sampling.

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