“Eewww!”

That’s the sound of a chorus of 5th grade campers who visited our lab this summer. And that’s what they said when they found out about the high levels of bacterial pollution in Long Island Sound.

Students practice taking a water sample.
Students practice taking a water sample.

On July 23, 40 campers from Mamaroneck Co-op camp visited our new water quality lab (made possible through the EPA Region 2 Citizen Science Water Monitoring Equipment Loan).

Our Water Quality Coordinator, Jack Singer, our Water Quality Manager, Peter Linderoth, and Cameron Thrasher, volunteer citizen scientist, helped campers conduct three science activities. The students learned about the health of their local waterways and beaches. They even got the chance to mimic some actions of our citizen scientists and staff. Each student took turns using a pipette to dilute a water sample. Then, they tested and compared the dissolved oxygen of cold water and warm water to understand how temperature affects the ability of water to hold oxygen and support marine life. As a culminating activity, the students looked under a UV light to witness the high level of Enterococcus and bacterial contamination in many of our recent field samples. Jack, Peter, and Cameron taught them how sewage pollution is a challenge for many communities and a threat to the health of the Sound.

Sometimes a child can say it best, “Eewww, that’s gross!”

Our Water Quality Coordinator, Jack Singer leads a group discussion with campers from Mamaroneck Co-Op Camp.
Our Water Quality Coordinator, Jack Singer, leads a group discussion with campers from Mamaroneck Co-Op Camp.
Students use a pipette to dilute samples.
Students use a pipette to dilute samples.
Student uses a UV light to identify florescence. Wells that glow are positive for Enterococcus—the fecal-indicating bacteria we test for.
Student uses a UV light to identify florescence. Wells that glow are positive for Enterococcus—the fecal-indicating bacteria we test for.
Our Water Quality Manager, Peter Linderoth with students.
Our Water Quality Manager, Peter Linderoth, with students.

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