AMESVILLE – On May 18 students from Moshannon Valley Junior and Senior High School learned first hand about streams, stream life, and the impact of historical coal mining to local streams. Trout Unlimited partnered with the school to teach three hundred students, seventh, eighth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth graders, about the importance of our local waterways and how to protect them.
Zach Jasper, a student, says, “It was great, I learned a lot about our local water and realized just how much of a difference people can make. Two thumbs up to Trout Unlimited.”
Three different lessons highlighted the issue of abandoned mine drainage which is the area’s number one source of waterway pollution. The lessons included building a stream using an interactive stream table, learning how to identify water dwelling bugs or benthic macroinvertebrates, and water chemistry analysis. “You know what to look for in a good stream and pH helps us understand what is bad in the stream” said Katelin Thompson a student who participated in the water chemistry lesson.
The students analyzed samples collected from Clearfield County streams and learned about local efforts by Trout Unlimited and other organizations to remediate the impacts of abandoned mines. Another student in the class Kalen Ohs said that, “This lab showed how much our area is polluted because of mining done years ago.”
Trout Unlimited (TU) is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation group. In addition to educational outreach, TU works with local and state government agencies, watershed groups, and conservation groups to clean up abandoned mine drainage in the West Branch Susquehanna watershed. For more information about TU or abandoned mine drainage visit www.tu.org or www.wbsrc.org.