Local summer camp creates Clean Water Ambassadors

Will the Infamous Blue-green Algal Blooms return? Most of us know about the harmful algae blooms that happen in the Caloosahatchee, and how terrible it has been in the past for the fish and other wildlife that reside there, as well as many of our popular recreational activities. But many feel helpless and do not know what to do to help. Monitoring, testing, and compiling date on our local waterways is a very important step toward clean water, and the inland areas are at the pinnacle.

(Caloosa Belle/Danika J. Hopper) Scott Perry, Director of LaBelle Fossil Camp, using one of the water testing kits from the EarthEcho Water Challenge, to test water along the Caloosahatchee River.

Recently, Scott Perry, of LaBelle Fossil Camp, announced that he has added water testing as part of this year’s camp curriculum. Campers will conduct a water sampling program, in partnership with the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program and EarthEcho Water Challenge, to monitor the ongoing changes in the water. Camp attendees will learn how to test, record, and report the temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity of water samples taken from the Caloosahatchee, all while fossil hunting. In essence the campers will become young scientists and ambassadors for clean water.

The EarthEcho Water Challenge is an international program that runs annually from March 22 (the United Nations World Water Day) through December and equips anyone to protect the water resources we depend on every day. The EarthEcho Water Challenge builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local waterbodies. Interested in helping test water and report data like the LaBelle Fossil Camp kids? You too can order the test kits online at http://monitorwater.org/ or if you have kids between the ages of 8 – 14 years, sign them up for Fossil Camp today! (https://fossilcamp.wordpress.com/).

Danika can be reached at dhopper@newszap.com

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