Oneida and Bay Port High Schools have teamed up with NEW Water on the Silver Creek Pilot Project!
As part of the ongoing efforts to reduce phosphorus in our watershed, a Kids’ Monitoring Project has been launched in conjunction with the Silver Creek Pilot Project, thanks to a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant.
Oneida High School teacher Becky Nutt and Bay Port High School teacher Whitney Barnes brought their science and agriculture students out to the watershed for a kick-off event on May 7, which included educational water activities and water monitoring, which will be recorded throughout the duration of the Pilot Project.
“Educating our youth about water issues facing our community will help to create a new generation of watershed champions,” says Bill Hafs, Environmental Programs Director for NEW Water. “We’re delighted that Oneida and Bay Port High Schools have joined us on this project.”
The high school groups conducted water sampling to determine values of Nitrate, ammonia, chlorine, and orthophosphate; they learned about how runoff from land impacts water quality; they discovered different types of fish and aquatic life in the watershed; and they experienced “fish shocking,” which is a commonly used non-lethal scientific technique to sample aquatic life.
Pilot Project water educators include: Jim Snitgen, Water Resources Supervisor for Oneida; Jason Spiegel, Water Resources Specialist for Oneida; Erin Wilcox, Water Resources Specialist for NEW Water; Jeff Smudde, Watershed Programs Manager for NEW Water.
The kick-off event was held at Pamperin Park’s Duck Creek, which Silver Creek flows into, and is part of the Lower Fox River watershed. The Park was selected as a venue because of its ability to accommodate large groups and school buses.
Oneida High School Principal Artley Skenandore welcomed the group in the Oneida language, and Bill Hafs explained how the students’ data will be incorporated into the scientific reporting for the Silver Creek Project.