BCS students are working to complete two water quality projects.
MWEE @ BCS
Working with a Meaningful Watershed Education Experience grant, the BCS biology class along with the Columbia County Conservation District Watershed Specialist will complete a special water quality project
The four components of the project are the following:
Stream assessments of Hemlock Creek (a 303-D listed stream) with a focus on visual assessments
Restoration project proposals generated by groups of students including but are not limited to, riparian buffer plantings, wetland restoration, livestock exclusions, stream habitat structures, riparian buffer ordinances, stream signage
Watershed fair at BCS designed specifically for elementary students EARTH @ PPL PROJECT BCS
BCS was also awarded a PPL Project Earth grant based on the proposal “Water Quality Adventures in the Fishing Creek Watershed: A Comparison of Three Local Streams".
The project has three components involving students in Earth Science, Biology, and Chemistry classes.
*Understand our watershed.* The first component will be a series of in-class lessons given by educators from the Columbia County Conservation District, Bloomsburg University and Mr. Greene on watershed issues including the specific projects underway and potential projects in the watershed. During these lessons, students will learn to delineate watersheds, learn the topography of the Fishing Creek watershed, learn the major tributaries to Fishing Creek, learn about the impact of the Fishing Creek on Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay. Part of this segment of the project will be a bus tour of the watershed highlighting the environmental issues within the watershed.
*Assess our watershed.* The second component of the project will involve visual, chemical and biological assessments conducted on Fishing Creek, Little Fishing Creek and an impaired 303-D listed stream in the watershed. The students will be instructed first on the visual signs of healthy and unhealthy streams and will practice their skills by surveying several streams and recording their observations using a stream assessment matrix. Next the students will learn about chemical indicators of stream health and will learn healthy parameters for common chemical indicators in Pennsylvania streams. Students will then use Lamotte testing equipment on Fishing Creek, Little Fishing Creek and an impaired 303-D listed stream in the watershed. Next students will collect and identify macro-invertebrates in the three streams, quantify their data, and relate their bio-assessment to the visual and chemical assessments of the three streams.
*Share our watershed*. The third component of our project will be to present their findings to the elementary students of our school and to the membership of the Fishing Creek Watershed Association. The three classes will collaborate by presenting one type of assessment each. The Earth Science class will present their visual assessments of the three streams. The Biology class will discuss the process of bio-assessment, the organisms collected and the assessment of the stream quality based upon those organisms. The chemistry class will present their chemical analyses of the streams, discuss the pros and cons of chemical testing as compared to biological assessment, and finally indicate whether the visual, biological and chemical assessments corroborated.