The Hunterdon County Polytech School District exists in an agricultural community with many watershed areas that are in poor condition. Teacher Taryn Romanczak understands the need to improve water quality to protect the resources necessary to sustain the large agricultural community in that area. Taryn will apply the Hipp Foundation’s $3,000 grant towards a project where students will assess and attempt to improve these watershed areas.
First, eleventh and twelfth grade high school students will learn to perform a visual stream assessment and record their observations on a standard form and assign a numeric grade to the stream assessment. They will look for manmade structures and alterations to the watershed, buildings around it, as well as what is still natural and what is manmade on the banks of the watershed.
Students will also learn to perform a biological assessment of a watershed. They will look at plant and animal life in the stream. The aquatic life found will determine the health of the stream. The water quality determines the type of aquatic life that can survive there. Students will compare good, medium, and poor quality streams and develop an action plan to help poor quality streams.
The information students collect will be entered into a statewide database for use by biologists. The data will also be used by students to construct and compare charts and graphs of the various waterways to compare their similarities and differences.
Students will also participate in a stream clean up and a tree planting day. Trees will be maintained and cared for throughout the year.
A biological and visual assessment will be conducted on the same bodies of water the following year to determine if quality is the same, worse, or better.
For further information contact:
School Phone: 908-284-1444, ext. 2123
Cell Phone: 570-807-0763