Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish {Environmental Protection's Agency "How's My Waterway" Tool}

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a government agency with the mission to protect human health and the environment. The EPA created a fun tool called "How's My Waterway?" that you can use on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. This tool allows you to look up the condition of local streams, lakes, rivers, and other waters in the United States. The program uses the GPS location of your phone or a city or zip code to find waterways within five miles. See if your waterway was checked for pollution, what was found, and what is being done. The tool provides descriptions of each type of pollutant, likely sources and potential health risks. You can also find information on local drinking water sources and watersheds. 

Frannie is going to use this tool to:
  • find out more about her local water 
  • share what she has learned with her family, friends, and classmates
  • get involved with local water protection efforts
There are so many ways Frannie (and you!) can take action to protect water resources! Here are just a few ideas:

1. Get a Groundwater Guardian team started in your community or join an existing team! Groundwater Guardian is a nationwide network of teams of committed individuals that lead groundwater education and protection activities like labeling storm drains, organizing river clean-ups, holding groundwater festivals, distributing water testing kits, and more in their local communities!

2. Establish a Groundwater Guardian Green Site. A Green Site can be any green space (a park, ball field, zoo, educational campus, etc.). The program helps site managers learn more about groundwater-friendly maintenance practices.

3. Install a rain garden in your community. Building a rain garden is a fun project that will not only look great, but will help improve water quality.

4. Get involved in local wellhead protection efforts to help your community protect its drinking water. 

5. Organize a stream, river, or lake clean-up. Make an immediate difference in protecting water quality by picking up litter and debris from a water body in your community.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish {Stream, River, or Lake Clean-Up}

Hi Friends! Are you looking for a fun activity you can do with your class, extracurricular group, family, or friends that will benefit the whole community? Consider holding a clean-up of a local stream, river, or lake! Debris and trash can sometimes end up in places where it doesn't belong. The shore and banks of many water bodies tend to collect a lot of unwanted items. Get a group of people together to clean up a stream, river, or lake to improve local water quality.

Frannie is going to get her local Groundwater Guardian team involved in her clean-up efforts!

Here's what you need:
  • Plastic gloves
  • Wading boots
  • Trash bags
  • Sun protection - sun screen, hats, sunglasses, etc.

Here's what you do:
1. Be sure to read through and follow The Groundwater Foundation's Safety First rules.
2. Make sure everyone has on proper attire (appropriate shoes and gloves for collecting debris and trash, sunscreen, etc.).
3. Pair up participants in teams of two or more.
4. Provide each team with gloves and trash bags.

5. Divide up into adult-supervised groups and start collecting trash from the banks and shoreline.

For more fun:
  • Separate the items collected into recyclable and garbage piles. 
  • Weigh the items collected!
  • Make the activity a friendly competition. Who can find the oddest or most surprising item? Who can find the biggest or smallest item?

Send photos of your clean up activity to The Groundwater Foundation