For 25 years, junior high and high school students working in and around the Maumee River watershed have been testing for nutrients in the water. Students and teachers will be back at work October 15 collecting water samples for the Student Watershed Watch. This work has taken on new urgency since the City of Toledo water crisis in early August that resulted from elevated levels of an algae toxin in Lake Erie. Studies have indicated that silt in the Maumee River carries large amounts of phosphorus and deposits it in Lake Erie where it feeds toxic algae.
In the Portage River watershed, students from Bowling Green Middle School will go to William Henry Harrison Park in Pemberville to perform water quality testing and stream assessments. Their testing days are Wednesday and Thursday, October 1 and 2. The testing is an all-day project; students will be on site from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In both watersheds, students collect a series of water measurements including temperature and turbidity. They collect macroinvertebrates and categorize them to evaluate the quality of the habitat. Back in the classroom, students chart findings including pH, dissolved oxygen, amount of E.coli bacteria, and the amount of nutrients including phosphates. The Maumee River watershed classrooms will present their findings at a student summit November 19 at the University of Toledo Scott Park Campus.
Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments | www.tmacog.org