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Rhode Island Students Pitch In for World Water Monitoring Day EPA announces Grant to assist efforts in R.I.

Release Date: 10/17/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. - Oct. 17, 2006) - Several Rhode Island groups were recognized by EPA for their efforts to provide volunteer water quality monitoring, which is helping Ocean State residents to have a cleaner environment.

EPA was joined by state officials and local scientists today celebrating World Water Monitoring Day with a series of field events. At Taft Street landing on the Blackstone River in Pawtucket, high school students from Blackstone Academy learned about the restoration of fish habitat on the river and demonstrated use of sophisticated monitoring instruments. In Providence, elementary school students examined marine life in Narragansett Bay.

“At least 200 New England groups are helping to protect our environment by doing volunteer water quality monitoring,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “These volunteers are an incredible resource helping all of us to know the condition of our streams, rivers and ponds. EPA commends all the volunteers doing their part to monitor Rhode Island waters.”

EPA also awarded a $10,756 grant to Save the Bay to support a special program next summer for 30 middle school girls to learn about water quality, important bay habitats and watershed health.

Academy students reviewed the most recent Blackstone River Report Card, based on data collected by dozens of volunteers and used to track the condition of the river. They also tested water quality of the Blackstone River, using automated sampling equipment; after appropriate quality control, their data may be entered with those of thousands of other groups around the country on the World Water Monitoring Day webpage as well as in the Blackstone River monitoring database.

After school at the Save the Bay facility, second and third graders from the Paul Cuffee School in Providence, which has a marine related curriculum focus, learned about bay water quality and biological monitoring. They dragged plankton nets and returned to the classroom to observe their samples through microscopes.

World Water Monitoring Day is an initiative co-sponsored by EPA and the Water Environment Federation to urge people around the world to test the quality of their streams, lakes, wetlands and coastal waters. This international outreach program builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world. Held annually, it encourages communities to monitor the condition of local rivers, streams, estuaries and other water bodies. Since its inception, more than 80,000 people have participated in 50 countries.

More information on World Water Monitoring Day (epa.gov/owow/monitoring/)

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