Wednesday, August 27, 2014

It's Water-Wise Wednesday With Frannie the Fish! {Frannie's Summer Vacation}

Do you ever wonder how pollution hurts Frannie and other fish like her? Frannie just got back from her summer vacation and she encountered a lot of water pollution. Fish, like Frannie, need cool, clear streams to live in. This week's Water-Wise Wednesday is the story of Frannie's summer vacation. Her story can help you learn about water pollution and how it can affect a clear stream and eventually make it unhealthy for wildlife such as Frannie. Below are some instructions on how to tell Frannie's story. Share it with friends, family or other Girl Scouts so they can learn from Frannie's adventure too! 

Items Needed:
  • A Frannie stand-in: You can use a fishing lure, one that looks like a fish, with the hooks removed 
  • Fishing line to suspend Frannie in a gallon jug or fish bowl of clear water
  • Gallon jug or fish bowl or small fish aquarium
  • Pencil, stick, or ruler placed on the top of the container to hold Frannie suspended halfway in the jar, underwater. 
  • 8 small containers or plastic bags to hold the "contaminants." See provided list of items needed for the contaminants.
Frannie should look like this in the bowl: 
Items Needed for the Contaminants:
1. Sediment - Potting soil, sand, and gravel mix
2. Manure - Raisins, dry beans, or chocolate-puff cereal  

3. Fertilizer - Green powdered drink mix
4. Road Salt - Denture cleaner or antacid tablet  
5. Litter - Torn paper and plastic bits 
6. Motor Oil - Vegetable oil  
7. Acid Rain - Cider or white vinegar tinted orange with food dye
8. Leaking Storage Tank - Film canister or similar small container with a cracked/open lid with red/blue food dye and water.

Sharing the story:
Make up an introduction to introduce Frannie to the group. Here is a sample intro:

"This is my friend Frannie. Can everyone say hi to Frannie? Today I'm going to help tell Frannie's story. Frannie is 7 years old and sometimes gets bored in her home, Holmes lake. Do you guys ever get bored and wish you could go some place else? Well, Frannie thought she would go on an adventure. Let's go along with Frannie on her adventure." 

Tell the rest of Frannie's story...

Frannie leaves her shady, cool pond and heads downstream on her adventure. 

After a little while, Frannie noticed that the sun was shining and the stream was no longer as cool and
dark. She looked out of the water and noticed that all the trees had been cut down and sediment (soil)
from the banks was washing into the water. 

Add first item to bowl- sediment: Sprinkle some sediment over the water and allow it to slowly
settle over Frannie.

Things you can discuss: Do you like to get sand in your gills...eyes? Fish breathe through gills. The sandy grit from the soil can hurt fish gills. The sediment can also cover rocks where fish lay their eggs, making it difficult for new fish to hatch.

“Oh no! Poor Frannie!” (Get your audience to repeat this every time something “bad” happens to Frannie.)

After a while Frannie poked her nose out of the water and do you know what she saw? Big black and
white animals coming down to visit her. Cows. As they walked into the water they stirred up mud and
left some smelly “presents.” 

Add second item to bowl- manure: Sprinkle some raisins and let them sink in the water. 

Things you can discuss: Animal waste can be harmful to aquatic life. Decomposing animal waste uses
up oxygen and releases pollutants (nutrients, phosphorous, and ammonia) in the water. Fish like
Frannie are not able to survive without enough oxygen and cannot survive with the added pollutants in the water. 

“Oh no! Poor Frannie.”

Frannie continued to swim downstream, but was no longer feeling very well.

Add third item to bowl- fertilizer: Sprinkle green powdered drink mix into the bowl.

Things you can discuss: Did you know, fertilizers can wash off the grass from rain or watering and run
off into the stream? Fertilizer is food for plants. It is often given to plants so they can grow bigger and
faster. Fertilizer will also makes plants and algae in the water grow. Too many plants in the water can
be bad for fish like Frannie.

“Oh no! Poor Frannie."

Frannie wasn’t ready to go home and continued to swim downstream.

Frannie noticed that the river had a salty taste.

Add fourth item to the bowl- road salt: Dump in
the denture cleaner or antacid tablet .
Things you can discuss: Road salt can help melt ice and is good for traffic safety but bad for wildlife,
trees, and water under the ground. Have you ever gotten salt in a cut? Ouch! Have you ever drank salt
water? Did you like it?

“Oh no! Poor Frannie.”

Frannie began to swim faster to escape the salt.

Downstream Frannie passed a picnic site. Someone left their trash behind. What is a more responsible
action you would do? Right then, a big gust of wind came and pushed most of the trash right into
the stream. Frannie doesn’t like this mess at all! Frannie tried to push the litter out of the stream but
couldn’t get it all with her little flippers. 

Add 5th item to bowl- litter: Add the litter into the bowl with Frannie.

“Oh no. Poor Frannie!”

She continued to swim downstream. Determined to continue her adventure.

Frannie heard a lot of commotion up on the bank of the stream. She peeked out of the water and saw
an overturned oil truck. Some of the oil from the truck had spilled into the stream! Frannie could get her gills clogged with oil. If this happens she would have trouble breathing.

Add sixth item to bowl- oil: Pour in the vegetable oil.

“Oh no. Poor Frannie.”

As Frannie continued to swim away from the oil spill, she noticed storm clouds overhead. The rain that
began to fall into the stream from the storm clouds wasn’t clean water. Frannie’s scales begin to itch!

Add seventh item to bowl- acid rain: Pour vinegar dyed with food coloring into the bowl. 

Things you can discuss: When air pollutants react with water drops this can cause rain to be polluted. This is called acid rain.

“Oh no! Poor Frannie.”

Frannie passed a leaky, rusty old barrel. An unknown substance was leaking out. An old factory dumped
the tank into the river many years ago. But now the barrel was leaking. As Frannie swims by she takes in
a gulp of water.

Add eighth item to bowl-Leaking Storage Tank.

“Oh no! Poor Frannie!”

Frannie was exhausted from her wild day. She was ready to go back home to her cool clear pond!

Things you can discuss: Fish, especially Frannie and her other aquatic friends, like cool, clean water to live
and play in. They like vegetation along the bank to shade the water and keep it cool. The cooler the water the more oxygen for her to breathe. Plus, insects and leaves from vegetation fall into the water providing food for Frannie and her friends.

What can you do (with the help of friends and family) to help keep Frannie’s home and all water clean? Share your ideas with us here!