Teachers throughout the Portage River Watershed recently had the opportunity to join Dennis Clement of Ohio EPA to learn more about water quality monitoring.
The workshop was a “kick-off” for new and current schools that test along the Portage River in the fall and spring. After completing the workshop, teachers involved can apply to become a “Qualified Data Collector” Level 1 with the EPA.
The Portage River Monitoring Program began in 1994 and has kept going through various grants and donations from private individuals and businesses.
With the assistance of the Ottawa and Wood Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Elaine Moebius from Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments, the students monitor the Portage River in the fall and in the spring each year, testing for pH, dissolved oxygen, phosphate, nitrates, and fecal coliform. They also do temperature readings and a macro invertebrate count. A physical analysis is done using the QHEI method (qualitative habitat evaluation index), developed by the EPA. This takes the fish’s point of view and decides, “Would I like to live here?”
Participating schools included Woodmore High School FFA, Genoa High School FFA, Oak Harbor High School FFA, Woodmore sixth grade and Eastwood High School, as well as Lakota High School, Fostoria St. Wendelin, Lakota Middle School, Danbury Middle School, Elmwood High School and Van Buren High School.
Teachers throughout the Portage River Watershed recently got their feet wet to learn more about water quality monitoring.