Twenty-nine students from Clearfield and Clarion-based homeschool groups representing preschool, elementary, middle and high school grade levels participated on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in a Connecting with West Branch Communities presentation on water pollution issues within the greater West Branch watershed.
The program, held at the Joseph & Elizabeth Shaw Public Library in Clearfield, was presented by the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association with support by Dominion Energy and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. It involved an overview of how pollution gets into our waterways and used a hands-on Enviroscape model to illustrate numerous point-source and non-point-source pollution issues.
Students learned about the many potential ways pollution enters our watershed, using the Enviroscape model to demonstrate how residential communities, agricultural practices, industrial complexes, sewage treatment facilities and other fixtures within the watershed can contribute to the problem if not conducted properly. At the end of the session, the students -- and their parents -- were challenged to come up with ways they can help preserve water quality via changes they can make at home to curb possible sources of pollution.
Follow-up materials and questions will be provided via email with encouragement to make lasting changes that improve water quality.
Financial support for this project was provided by the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, which is dedicated to the economic, physical and social health of communities served by Dominion Energy companies.
The grant program was administered by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in commitment to its core mission of conserving Pennsylvania’s diverse ecosystems through science-based strategy, leadership and collaboration.
The Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association, based in Sunbury, is tasked with protecting and promoting more than 11,000 square miles of watershed throughout the central and northeastern portions of Pennsylvania defined by both the North and West branches of the Susquehanna River. The group will conduct a variety of other presentations using the Enviroscape model throughout the greater watershed. For more information about the association, visit www.middlesusquehannariverkeeper.org
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John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.