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Exploring Urban Watersheds 2012. Exploring the Urban Watershed: A two-week environmental summer program for rising 9 th grade girls focused on scientific.

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Presentation on theme: "Exploring Urban Watersheds 2012. Exploring the Urban Watershed: A two-week environmental summer program for rising 9 th grade girls focused on scientific."— Presentation transcript:

1 Exploring Urban Watersheds 2012

2 Exploring the Urban Watershed: A two-week environmental summer program for rising 9 th grade girls focused on scientific methodology and inquiry applied to source water assessment and protection in Philadelphia. After field trips to drinking water, wastewater and the central labs of the Philadelphia Water Department, they engaged in hands on fieldwork - sampling and analyzing the ecology of a local stream. Our goal was to expose participants to new and positive experiences in the sciences. The following is a digital scrapbook laying out their data.

3 Urban Watersheds * What is a Watershed? A watershed is the area of land around where water collects into a specific body of water * * What makes an urban watershed different? - They are different because there is more impervious surface and water runs off into storm drains & sewers Watershed Water Naomi

4 Everybody needs clean water! Our drinking water goes through a long process. 50% of the drinking water comes from the Schuylkill and 50% from the Delaware River. Our water goes through a filtration process to get small particles out and is also disinfected. Sewage & Drinking Water My tour of the sewage plant was eye-opening because I saw what wasnt really flushable, like feminine products and that soap isn't removed from the sewage after all the treatments! Everybody produces sewage. Sewage comes from homes, stormwater run-off and factories among other places. Sewage is treated through a multistep process. They physically and biologically treat the water. Aleeyah

5 Invasive species are known as super successful reproducers. They cause ecological and health damage and can negatively impact native species. Some examples of invasive species are Zebra Mussel, Rusty Crayfish and Japanese Knotweed. Stormwater poses as one of the biggest threats to our waterways. When it rains in the city, rainwater washes all of the trash, animal feces, car oils, etc. that is left on the street into our sewers. This runoff has a chance of ending up in our rivers and streams. Unlike a natural watershed, more than half (55%) of all stormwater ends up in our sewers. Threats to Watersheds: Stormwater & Invasive Species Roh

6 Watershed Study: Materials & Methods Test Tubes Dip Net Microscope Microscope Slides Thermometer LaMotte (pH) Kit Plankton Net Secchi Disk/notched rope Pipette Jazmyn

7 Watershed Study: Data and Results Melissa Overall, Cobbs Creek had the clearest water when compared visually to the Schuylkill River and Naylors Run. This may be because Cobbs Creek was a smaller stream order and had mostly gravel sediment where as the Schuylkill River had more silt at the sample locations that can become stirred up and affect turbidity. Naylors Run also had a gravel bottom but had the slowest moving water and its source was from a stormwater outfall that could have affected the clarity. Larger animal life, such as cormorants, were recorded at the Schuylkill River than seen at both Cobbs Creek and Naylors Run. This could be because cormorant birds eat fish and the Schuylkill River has a larger supply of fish. Naylors Run did not have a variety of macroinvertebrates while Cobbs Creek did have a variety of macroinvertebrates. A lack of biodiversity can indicate that there is pollution problem. Naylors Run is a stormwater outfall so stormwater runoff may negatively affect water quality.

8 Watershed Study: Data and Results Location & Observation Waterway:Schuylkill RiverCobbs CreekNaylor's Run Sample Location: East Above Dam East Below Dam/Esplanade West Below Dam/Fishway ShadeSun GPS: 39° 58' 0" N 75° 10' 55" W 39° 57' 0" N 75° 10' 59" W 39° 58' 9" N 75° 11' 19" W 39° 55' 60" N 75° 14' 20 "W 39° 56' 46" N 75° 14' 41" W Start Time: 9:55 AM10:30 AM10:48 AM11:50 AM1:35 PM12:15 PM Weather: Sunny, very hot out Shady and cooler air Sunny, hot Extremely hot and sunny Cloudy, cool air Sunny, clear sky Land Use:Park HighwayPark Storm water drain, park Sample Location Specifics

9 Watershed Study: Data and Results Waterway:Schuylkill River Cobbs Creek Naylor's Run Sample Location: East Above Dam East Below Dam/Esplanade West Below Dam/Fishwa y ShadeSun Reach: Reach (ft):N/A 168 feet41.5 feet Flow Medium/slo w Medium /fast SlowVery Slows TurbidityClear A little cloudy, but mostly clear Stream Order estimate: Stream Reach (length)

10 Watershed Study: Data and Results Waterway:Schuylkill RiverCobbs CreekNaylor's Run Transect 1 (T1) *Except Schuylkill HabitatChannel Upstream end of Riffle Riffle pH7888 T1 E Bank: 8 T1 Channel: 7 T1 Bank: 8 T1 Channel: 7.5 Prevalent Gravel Category Silt & Bedrock Gravel MacrosN/A Mayfly, Caddisfly Larva, Crayfish, a bunch of Threadworms Mayfly Nymph, Tubifex Worm Animal Life Fish, Cormorant Geese, Turtle, Cormorant Fish, Cormorant Crayfish, Cicadas, Fish, Flies, Butterflies Cicadas, Fish, Flies Transect 1 - line that cuts across the Reach

11 Watershed Study: Data and Results Waterway:Schuylkill RiverCobbs CreekNaylor's Run Transect 2 HabitatN/ARiffleRiffle, Pool pHN/A T2 E Bank: 7.2 T2 Channel: 6.8 T2 Bank: 8 T2 Channel: 8 Prevalent Gravel Category N/AGravel MacrosN/A Cloeon Mendax, Cranefly Larva, Tubifex Worm, Isopod or Aquatic Sowbug, Mayfly Nymph None Animal LifeN/A Crayfish, Cicadas, Fish, Flies, Butterflies Cicadas, Fish, Flies Transect 2 - line that cuts across the Reach

12 Focusing on Careers When we went to the Bureau of Laboratory Services we explored lots of careers and met scientists. Chemist : Are people that study chemistry substances like H 2 O & 0 2 (water & oxygen) and do experiments understand what something is made of Microbiologist : Are people that analyze the structure and processes of microorganisms especially cellular tissue. Aquatic Biologist : Work with living organisms in bodies of water and study the environmental impact of industry and human expansions. Kadeeja

13 Acknowledgements We would like to thank The Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center for allowing us to use their beautiful laboratory. We would like to thank the Bureau of Laboratory Services (PWD), especially Laura Eyring, Anne Harvey, Marla Schechs and Yaeisha Slack. We would like to thank Philadelphia Futures, Charmayne Thompson, for sharing her resources about college preparations. We appreciate Gerald Bright, Environmental Program Scientist PWD, for taking the time to speak to us about stormwater and giving a site tour of an infrastructure project. We thank Anne Faulds, NOAA Sea Grant, for giving her time to educate us on invasive species in the area. The project was funded in part by a grant from the Society of Women Environmental Professionals, thank you for your generosity.


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