“Our River Our Responsibility
Water Quality in the Nanticoke River: What you need to know to make a difference”
There is a great need for environmental education efforts in the Nanticoke River watershed. This need is emphasized by the recent addition of the statewide Environmental Literacy graduation requirements. The Nanticoke Watershed Alliance serves a unique role in this area by providing education programs on water quality, watersheds, non-point source pollution, best management practices, connections with agriculture and the community, and more. The Alliance builds upon the organizations experience and successes by developing an environmental education program to reach both students and teachers. The ultimate goal is to increase environmental literacy among the community, provide opportunities for hands-on outdoor education, and through this awareness, lead to an increase in environmental stewardship and citizen involvement and action.
Educator Training Workshops
The Nanticoke Watershed Alliance offered a FREE 2-Day Educator Workshop called Creek Freaks on Thursday, July 20 and Friday, July 21st at the Laurel Public Library and Trap Pond State Park in Delaware. Creek Freaks was created by The Izaak Walton League and focuses on water quality, stream ecology, and the characteristics of a watershed. Teachers, Homeschool Parents, and Non-Formal Educators participated in stream monitoring in the field and curriculum activities to gain knowledge and experience to use this curriculum in the classroom or outdoors. A copy of the curriculum and educational supplies were given.
Enviroscape Watershed Model
The Enviroscape watershed model is used to teach 7th graders in Wicomico County, MD and Sussex County, DE about watersheds, water quality, point and non point source pollution, and of course, solutions and Best Management Practices.
The Alliance conducted field trips to seventh grade students to Trap Pond State Park and the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art and leads students on an outdoor experience. This school year the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance provided educational experiences to over 1000 seventh graders in Wicomico County, Maryland and 300 seventh graders in Sussex County, Delaware. Students rotate stations between water conservation, soils, water quality, and wildlife and enjoy extra fun activities, including collecting water quality data, searching for macro invertebrates, and launching bottle rockets.
This spring, Wicomico County 7th graders completed projects that will benefit their community and help protect their watershed by decreasing pollution sources. These projects included launching recycling campaigns in their school to decrease litter waste and creating storm drain art to raise awareness about storm water pollution.
Salisbury Middle School students researched Salisbury’s storm drain system to learn which water system the storm drains on school property dump into. Different pollution sources were researched that affect water quality of their local watershed. The students then submitted individual projects and designs to decorate two storm drains on school property that raised awareness in their community. The student body and faculty voted on their favorites and the winning designs were featured.
At Pittsville Middle School, a plastics recycling campaign was launched in the cafeteria. Plastics do not biodegrade, so if not recycled; these plastics will sit in the landfill for hundreds of years. Students created posters that were hung around the school and made presentations to each homeroom to raise awareness of their campaign. The 7th graders took initiative by collecting and sorting the plastic recycling three times a week, until the end of the school year. The students also launched two cleanups by picking up trash on the school property, the county softball field, and the library’s annex.
This spring, Mrs. Jordan Crockett, 7th grade Seaford Middle science teacher, and NWA Education Coordinator, Mary Poudel, led a weekly afterschool environmental club. Club members decided to plant a large pollinator garden in their school courtyard using native plant species. Pollinators have a large role in plant reproduction and are important in creating and maintaining habitats.
The students planned, designed, and planted the garden, being actively involved in every aspect of the project. Plants were chosen that bloomed Seaford Middle School’s school colors, blue, gold, and white. The flowers that bloomed blue were planted to form large “S”s in two of the flower beds. These 7th graders are proud of their work and are excited to see the plants grow and bloom next spring.
For more information on the environmental programs offered by the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance contact our Education Coordinator, Mary Poudel at firstname.lastname@example.org.