Students as Stream Stewards

Posted by: Mary Kate Ranii on July 5, 2017

Over 1200 students from the Upper Darby, Southeast Delco and William Penn School Districts participated in the Stream Stewards program this spring where they learned about the importance of protecting their local waterways. The program, which is in its third year, is a partnership between PRC and the Eastern Delaware County Stormwater Collaborative (EDCSC) and is funded by a grant from Boeing.  Students begin the program in the classroom, learning about watersheds and freshwater ecology and how these are impacted by our daily actions. PRC and EDCSC teach students with hands-on watershed models, preserved stream insects, and traditional lectures to teach students about the connection between pollution and stormwater runoff to water quality and impacts on local species.

During the second phase of the program, students take a field trip to their local stream to conduct stream health surveys. Students collect, identify, and release insect samples as well as test the stream’s water chemistry. By identifying the insects and analyzing data such as pH, dissolved oxygen, phosphate and nitrate levels, students are able to form conclusions about the stream’s current health. Through this program, students re-connect with nature in their communities and develop a better understanding of why it is important to become stewards of the environment.

PRC is currently offering this program to schools in southeastern Pennsylvania. For more information and to see if your school is eligible for this project, contact Diana Andrejczak.