Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
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RIVERS TO REEFS 2016

Day 2, Tuesday: June 14, 2016

Kelli Bivins; W.R. Coile Middle School, Athens, GA
Demetreia Head, Vanderlyn Elementary School, Dunwoody, GA
Leslie Wallace, South Hart Elementary School, Hartwell, GA

Kelli Bivins

I woke up this morning a regular, ESOL teacher, but I'm going to bed this evening as a Georgia certified water monitor for Adopt-a-Stream!

Leslie Wallace (L) and Kelli Bivins (R) learn to test water quality at the Towaliga River.

Leslie Wallace (L) and Kelli Bivins (R) learn to test water quality at the Towaliga River.
(Photo:Michelle Riley, GRNMS)

Not only did our group perform two rounds of chemical testing on water from different locales, we also conducted visual inventories of our watershed. I cannot wait to do this field work with my students, as I am sure they will quickly master the math and science involved for these assessments. They will also grasp the importance of this these tasks as they are coming into their own as stewards of our environment.

Our health is dependent upon the health of our watersheds; and I look forward to sharing the knowledge I am gaining this week with my students because I know that they will carry this work forward to finding solutions to our water challenges.


Demetreia Head
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for video link.

YouTube link

Today was the second day of the expedition and our activities made me feel like a true scientist. At our first stop, we learned more about the true definition of watershed. We also completed two practical application tasks that addressed the social aspect of human impact on the environment.

Demetreia Head completes an exercise that represents how building development impedes river flow.

Demetreia Head completes an exercise that represents how building development impedes river flow.
(Photo:Michelle Riley, GRNMS)

I am excited to have my students complete both of these tasks and to have a discussion with them about our community and the cumulative effect of our seemingly tiny decisions.

At our second stop, we began learning how to chemically monitor bodies of water. Through an intense hands-on training session, we practiced testing water pH, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity. At the end of the session, we took an assessment and received our certifications. My team worked together the entire day and together we were successful.

After today, I feel as though I could truly make a difference in my community by monitoring our rivers and streams.


Leslie Wallace
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for video link.

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We started out the day at Shoal Creek Park where we were educated on what a watershed is. I have always heard my husband talking about fishing at the "watershed", but I was unsure of what he was referring to. Now I know that a watershed is a very defined area, a collection basin and a drainage system that feeds water to other bodies of water such as creeks, streams, lakes and rivers. We learned about the various watersheds found in Georgia.

Teachers are learning how urban planning, or lack of it, can affect our rivers

Teachers are learning how urban planning, or lack of it, can affect our rivers, especially downstream. Development can impede rivers, pollute, etc. What is your building's impact.
(Photo: Michelle Riley)

I teach in Hart County at South Hart Elementary which is located in Hartwell, GA. The Hartwell Dam is here, at the headwaters of the Savannah River, within the Savannah River watershed area.

An activity that we completed was a topographic map on which we drew our school community. At the completion of our drawing, we crumpled the paper up to form ridges on our drawing. Then we sprayed the paper with colored water. The water collected on the ridges and drained down to the lower areas, thus illustrating a watershed. This would be a great activity for my third grade students to complete to show them the effects of a watershed.

We also did an activity that that had to do with point source and non-point source pollution, both of which I wasn't familiar with until we completed our activity. Both of the activities we completed at Shoal Creek Park were VERY educational to me and I can't wait to bring these activities to my students. Hopefully, my third grade team can incorporate these activities into our STEAM lessons this year!

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