Celebrating Spring by Monitoring Waterways

May 13, 2015

Featured

EarthEcho kicks off World Water Monitoring Challenge program with events in three cities
 
From right, Philippe Cousteau Jr. and students from the Anne Beers Elementary School in Washington, D.C., test water quality along the Anacostia River during an EarthEcho International (Washington, D.C.) 2015 World Water Monitoring Challenge event. Photo courtesy of EarthEcho International.

From right, Philippe Cousteau Jr. and students from the Anne Beers Elementary School in Washington, D.C., test water quality along the Anacostia River during an EarthEcho International (Washington, D.C.) 2015 World Water Monitoring Challenge event. Photo courtesy of EarthEcho International.

Students around the country have been celebrating spring by grabbing monitoring kits and heading to their local waterways to get a read on water quality. EarthEcho International (Washington, D.C.) became the official coordinator of the World Water Monitoring ChallengeTM program in January and kicked off the program and the 2015 monitoring season in March by hosting events in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.

The events, held between March 16–22, brought local schools and communities together to learn how to test, monitor, and improve water quality and understand how behaviors can affect water quality. A total of 90 participants in Los Angeles, 350 participants in Dallas, and 80 participants in Washington, D.C., gathered for the events. Many others will participate in the program by the time the monitoring season ends on Dec. 31.

Students from Sunrise Elementary School in Los Angeles, collect water samples as part of the EarthEcho International World Water Monitoring Challenge. Photo courtesy of EarthEcho International.

Students from Sunrise Elementary School in Los Angeles, collect water samples as part of the EarthEcho International World Water Monitoring Challenge. Photo courtesy of EarthEcho International.

The events in Dallas and Washington, D.C., also were streamed live online for virtual participants to see water quality testing demonstrations and learn more about the program. EarthEcho provides tutorials and other educational information on the World Water Monitoring Challenge YouTube site.

“The EarthEcho World Water Monitoring Challenge is an opportunity for anyone, anywhere to make the first step in taking action for clean water and healthy waterways worldwide,” said Philippe Cousteau Jr., co-founder and president of EarthEcho International. Cousteau invites students, families, and community members to join the program, an international movement present in 120 countries, and make water health a priority, he added in an EarthEcho news release.

Sunrise Elementary School students collect water from the Los Angeles River for an Earth Echo WWMC event to learn how to test, monitor, and improve water quality. Photo courtesy of EarthEcho International.

Sunrise Elementary School students collect water from the Los Angeles River for an Earth Echo WWMC event to learn how to test, monitor, and improve water quality. Photo courtesy of EarthEcho International.

World Water Monitoring Challenge builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by enabling citizens to conduct basic water monitoring and share their findings online. Test kits provided by LaMotte Co. (Chestertown, Md.) monitor for dissolved oxygen, acidity, temperature, and clarity. By performing basic and easy monitoring tests, participants learn about common indicators of water health and are encouraged to participate in more formal citizen monitoring efforts, the news release says. Participants can connect with others around the world through the website and the World Water Monitoring Challenge Facebook page.

This year brings two upgrades to the program. Participants now can download the World Water Monitoring Challenge app to enter real-time water monitoring results more easily and collaborate with groups in communities around the world. The app is made available through EarthEcho’s partnership with mWater (New York), the news release says.

Participants will be able to submit monitoring data for the 2015 WWMC season until Dec. 31. Photo courtesy of EarthEcho International.

Participants will be able to submit monitoring data for the 2015 WWMC season until Dec. 31. Photo courtesy of EarthEcho International.

EarthEcho also provides Action Guides online to help participants take on issues associated with poor water quality such as stormwater management, marine debris, and wastewater, the news release says.

Organizations supporting the 2015 program include Legacy Foundation Fund (Merrillville, Ind.) and Xylem (Rye Brook, N.Y.), the news release says.

Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

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