Saving the Whole World from Pollution…

Our Field Trip to Maumee Bay State Park: A Group Narrative

On our field trip to Maumee Bay State Park on Lake Erie, we picked up trash, tested the water quality, and had a picnic. When we first arrived, Jacob said, “When I look out at the water, I imagine that I am a fish.” The beach felt so soft and sandy! We learned that Lake Erie, which started as a glacier, is special because it is the most shallow of the Great Lakes. Since we know this is where our drinking water comes from, we cared to clean it. When Harrison and Luke found 2 full bottles of water, they poured it on the ground, returning it to the water cycle, and recycled the bottles.

lake erie Ohio beach cleanup
Harrison and Luke knew to empty the littered water bottles before recycling them.

We assumed that the wooden planks we found on the beach were washed up from a boat. We saw a clam that was still alive. Adam found a cap that roots were growing through. We guessed the weight of the trash and did a mini math lesson with it, and were so close with our prediction of 40 pounds. We actually collected 43 pounds of trash and 10 pounds of recycling.

trash weigh MBSP
We found the weight of the trash we collected by finding the difference between April holding our trash bag and just April.

Our class tested the water’s turbidity, ph, and temperature through the GLOBE program. The phosphate level was at a low level of 1, which is good! We talked about how harmful algae blooms happen sometimes in Lake Erie. Too many phosphates from our lawns’ and farms’ fertilizers are one of the things that can make this worse.

We learned how to measure the turbidity, the cloudiness, of the water with a turbidity tube.

When we were at lunch on the beach, we finally had the time to relax.

lake erie picnic
Lake Erie is a great place to relax and have a picnic!

Julia said, “It feels like we are on vacation!” It is fun to play on the beach and look at the water. We even imagined we were at the ocean when we saw seagulls! Lake Erie is a beautiful place and we take care of it. Back at school, Thomas showed us on a world map that all five of our Great Lakes connect to each other, flow into the St. Lawrence River, and into the Atlantic Ocean. Te’Lir then said, “I feel like I’m saving the whole world from pollution!”

Written by Wildwood Environmental Academy 5th grade with Mrs. Loar, Ms. Schetter, and Mrs. Mercer in Maumee, OH, USA

This is an example of a “water story,” which will go on H2yOu‘s website soon.  H2yOu is a project where students and explorers all over the world share and compare what is unique about how they source, care for, and conserve for our shared global resource of water.  This geographic literacy project was designed to inspire water conservation and action, and to raise awareness on the geographic and human connectedness of water.  It started as a result of Ms. Laura Schetter finding a lot of litter on an uninhabited beach in the Arctic, while on a Lindblad Expedition on the National Geographic Explorer ship.  Schetter embarked on this expedition as a 2015 National Geographic/Lindblad Expeditions Grosvenor Teacher Fellow.  

Instead of hiking, expedition guests picked up the litter that washed up on the arctic beach from the Gulf currents.
Instead of hiking, expedition guests picked up the litter that washed up on the arctic beach from the Gulf currents.

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