With the warm weather this week, we dove into water and water conservation. We started out by reading The Lorax by Dr. Seuss and discussing pollution. We saw that in the story one man’s desire to make money ended up polluting an entire ecosystem, forcing animals to leave and almost causing the extinction of the Truffula Tree. However, the story ends with hope that a younger generation, like the Forest Dreamers, can come along, care for the environment and bring back the ecosystem.
We then took what we learned about pollution in the story and applied it to the pollution of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. We read a story about different pollutants that enter the water system and end up in the Bay. Throughout the story, we added each pollutant to our visual representation of the body of water. Even with just a few pollutants, we quickly decided that we wouldn’t want to drink the water and after adding a few more pollutants we decided the water would not be safe for animals or for us to swim in.
We read another story called Let’s Keep Our Oceans, Rivers, and Lakes Clean by Richard D. Covey and Diane H. Pappas. In this story we learned even more about water pollution and we talked about ways we can help keep our water clean. We all agreed that one way we can help keep our water clean is by throwing our trash, recycling, and compost in the proper bins and if we see any trash on the ground, we can pick it up so it doesn’t end up in the ocean.
Both days we headed out to the water at Irvine to help clean it up and to see what kinds of animals live in it. We found quite a few frogs and some decomposers busy in the mud near the water. We also conducted a survey of aquatic macro-invertebrates to see which ones live in the water at Irvine and what that might tell us about the water quality. We found a Crawdad, Cranefly, Caddisfly, and Mayfly! With all of those macro-invertebrates living in the stream along with the frogs, we decided that the water must be relatively clean. We also observed that the water had very little trash (we removed what we found), looked clear and smelled like clean water. With this knowledge, we were able to conclude that the water flowing through Irvine is not polluted at this point in its journey to the Chesapeake Bay.