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EPA, Anacostia Watershed Society Launch Clean Water Program in Elementary Schools
Release Date: 10/01/2014
Contact Information: David Sternberg 215-814-5548, firstname.lastname@example.org
RIVERDALE, Md. (October 1, 2014) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Anacostia Watershed Society today began a partnership to engage 400 elementary school students in Prince George’s County, Md. in a watershed education program to help them learn about and protect the Anacostia River.
EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin joined the Anacostia Watershed Society for a series of activities at Riverdale Elementary School in Riverdale, Md., to kick off the “Stream Stewards” program. The activities included performing an environmental survey of school grounds and painting rain barrels.
“Our goal is to develop a greater appreciation among our young people for the need to protect our waters, particularly, in this case, the Anacostia River,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “While we clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act, EPA is pleased to partner with the Anacostia Watershed Society and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation on this activity to provide hands-on experience on the benefits of green infrastructure.”
“The Anacostia Watershed Society is grateful to EPA for supporting our program to educate students in Prince George’s County and create a new generation of stream stewards,” said Ariel Trahan, Director of Education Programs for the Anacostia Watershed Society. “In order to achieve our vision of a fishable and swimmable Anacostia River by 2025, it is critical to educate community members about their local waterways and teach them what they can do to protect them. The children we educate today will determine the future of the river, and we are thrilled to be doing our part to engage them with their surrounding environment and show them responsible stewardship practices.”
Under the Stream Stewards program, 400 students in grades 4-6 from Riverdale and University Park elementary schools will participate in a three-part watershed education experience to learn about issues facing the Anacostia watershed, participate in a field study of the river, and implement conservation strategies (such as installing rain barrels and creating rain gardens) at their schools. The field study involves a boat trip on the Anacostia and collecting native plant seeds along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, which will be used for propagation in the spring.
The students will also paint 18 storm drain murals reminding residents that stormwater impacts local waters. A local design competition was held for the murals that will be painted onto the drains.
EPA provided $35,000 in Urban Waters funding to the Anacostia Watershed Society for the expansion of the Stream Stewards program to Riverdale and University Park elementary schools. The funding was awarded through the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program, which began in 1999 as a partnership among EPA, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the National Association of Counties and the Wildlife Habitat Council.
The objective of the Stream Stewards program is to create increased awareness of the benefits of green infrastructure and the need for stormwater management in Prince George's County as well as improved water quality in Wells Run, a tributary of the Northeast Branch of the Anacostia River.
As part of the program, the Anacostia Watershed Society will work with students, teachers and administrators at the two schools to develop plans for a suite of low-impact development installations, which students will help to implement.
The program will demonstrate a range of recognized, sustainable practices that showcase the benefits of green infrastructure to students and the local community while achieving the greatest possible pollutant reductions.
For more information on the 2014 Five Star and Urban Waters Awards, visit this site.
For more information on the Anacostia Watershed Society and the work they are doing to restore the Anacostia River, please visit www.Anacostiaws.org.