River Watershed Project II

Science teachers Catherine Astor, Lauren Ayers, and James Marion of the Wallkill Valley Regional High School in Sussex County were awarded an $8,100 Hipp Foundation grant to continue this ecology study. The initial project was started when local watershed authorities asked the school’s Ecology Club to clean and maintain the portion of the river that runs through school property. This continuation project has been expanded to include the cleanup of debris that caused a large dam to form in the river after a recent storm.

Once permits are issued by the NJDEP, teachers, students, and volunteers from the community will participate in the river cleanup. An engineer has donated his time and equipment to complete the major excavation to properly and completely clean the river.

Students will conduct monthly water testing and data collection for organized analysis and reporting. The tests will allow students to access the health of the river and prepare monthly reports and presentations to the local watershed authorities. Tests and analysis will be prepared after the major clean-up to evaluate the health of the river.

Using their data collections, students will prepare monthly bulletin board/art showcase presentations to display as a means of educating and increasing awareness for the entire student body. Local media will be invited to report on the student progress and contribution to the watershed.

This project is designed and planned to continue indefinitely and can be expanded to testing and cleanup of other areas of the river in our district. If the equipment can be maintained without major malfunction or prohibitive costs, the project can be continued year after year. 

For further information contact:

Catherine Astor
School Phone: 973-827-4100