Environmental Science for Providence students
The Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council (WRWC) has completed their Woonasquatucket Watershed Restoration Education project funded by the Estuary Program. WRWC engaged students in Providence schools about the Woonasquatucket River and watershed. Part of that project is called “Fish in the Classroom,” an elementary school program that includes setting up a tank with young trout in the classrooms and teaching the students environmental and science education. A special part of this project involved Kassi Archambault, Education Director of the WRWC, helping students create a community based, environmental project. For this part of the project, the students worked with local artist, Brent Bachelder of Club Neopolsi Creations to create and paint colorful and meaningful messages about stormwater.
These elementary students made an impact on their school community through painting murals on the storm drains. Students not only enjoyed their contribution of teaching others, but are now well versed in discussing stormwater pollution and prevention to their peers and parents. Another way the elementary students took environmental action is through raising trout in their classroom, then releasing them into the Woonasquatucket River.
Read the EcoRI news article here.
Stormwater outfall assessment at Monponsett Ponds to address blue-green algae
The Halifax Board of Health is advancing a project to identify, map, and prioritize stormwater outfalls and other sources discharging to the East and West Monponsett Ponds. Over 20 outfalls are contributing pollutants to these ponds resulting in blue-green algae blooms in West Monponsett Pond. This pollution has resulted in closed beaches, fish kills, and warnings about the health effects of cyanobacteria. The Board of Health will identify the highest ranking outfalls and will develop preliminary designs for best management practices and low impact development projects to control these sources. The partners on this project include the Monponsett Watershed Association and the Massachusetts Division of Ecologic Restoration.
This project was funded through EPA’s Southeast New England Program. See the poster below by the Town of Halifax. See also Frank Carini’s article in ecoRI highlighting the Halifax project.
Examining how Ribbed Mussels help clean Narragansett Bay
In upper Narragansett Bay, Save The Bay completed a report on excess nutrients by experimenting with the use of ribbed mussels for bioextraction (Read the study here), a process that relies on the filter-feeders capacity to remove plankton and other nutrients from the water column. Nitrogen pollution in the bay leads to an overproduction of algae, which can reduce light infiltration, smother organisms, and lower local oxygen levels in the water when it decomposes.
The use of shellfish for restoration in polluted waters has been problematic because local people may eat contaminated shellfish, risking illness. However, by using ribbed mussels it circumvents this problem. This project was funded through EPA’s Southeast New England Program, see the poster below. (Also see a story on this project in the Watershed Counts 2015 Report).