Contact: Melanie Rapp, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902; Photos available upon request by contacting Melanie Rapp at 302-739-9902.
Delaware students “Make a Splash” and learn about protecting water resources
Effort supports Governor's Clean Water for Delaware's Future Initiative
DOVER, Del. (April 1, 2014) – More than 700 fourth grade students from ten elementary schools participated in today’s “Make a Splash” festival, an event designed to educate students on the diversity of estuary life and the importance of Delaware’s water resources. The festival was held at the St. Jones Reserve, a component of the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Division of Historic and Cultural Affairs, John Dickinson Plantation near Dover – wonderful locations for the students to explore past and present water resource issues.
“Make a Splash” engages and educates students on the importance of water in our lives,” said Jennifer Holmes, education coordinator with DNREC’s Delaware Coastal Programs. “Through hands-on activities and demonstrations, students discovered what they can do to improve the health of our precious water resources and be good stewards of the environment.”
Students visited twenty-eight activity stations on Delaware’s water resources and their historical and current uses. At a station called Macro-invertebrate Mayhem, students learned how insects are used as indicators of water quality and the health of streams and ponds. At other stations, they explored the water cycle, Delaware’s wetlands and mosquitoes, water pollution and solutions, horseshoe crabs, water concentration, and hurricanes.
“This is the first year that Old State Elementary School in Townsend has participated in “Make a Splash,” said Christine Follman, 4th grade teacher and lead science educator for the school. “We use “Land and Water” as one of our science kits to help educate students about the value of water and the land – and the need to protect both,” said Ms. Follman. “This festival expands on our curriculum and makes real world connections that my students can understand. They are learning about the importance of protecting the environment.”
At the learning station entitled, Incredible Journey through the Water Cycle, Old State Elementary School 4th grader, Autumn Daniels was especially interested in how water moves through the water cycle. “I learned that water can come from many places – like glaciers, clouds, the ocean, and the ground,” said Autumn. “We need water to live, so everyone should take care of our water and make sure it is clean to drink.”
“At another activity station, Freddie, the Stormwater Fish, Kent Conservation District Stormwater Program Manager Jared Adkins and Engineer Matt Johnson demonstrated how polluted stormwater runoff ends up in our waterways and can harm aquatic life. “Students learned about the harmful effects of water pollution on fish and marine life in our rivers and streams. We challenged them to identify possible solutions to prevent pollution, and to take actions every day to protect our waterways,” said Mr. Adkins.
“Fish can’t live in dirty water that has been polluted by trash and gasoline from cars,” said Amiyah Sizer, student at W.B. Simpson Elementary in Camden. “We want people pick up their trash and wash their car on the grass. People should be safe and take care of the environment,” she said.
Delaware’s Make a Splash festival has been educating students and encouraging actions to help protect water resources for fifteen years. The 2014 planning committee included representatives from: the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control; Delaware Project WET; Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs – John Dickinson Plantation; Tidewater Utilities; and Delaware Health and Social Services (Division of Public Health) – Office of Drinking Water.
Schools that participated included: Brader Elementary School, Newark; Delaware School for the Deaf, Newark; Old State Elementary School, Townsend; South Dover Elementary School, Dover; Towne Point Elementary, Dover; Calvary Christian Academy, Camden; Fairview Elementary School, Dover; Booker T. Washington Elementary School, Dover; W.B. Simpson Elementary School, Camden; and Lighthouse Christian School, Dagsboro.
More than 100 volunteers – educators, scientists, teachers and parents – participated in today’s festival and included staff from: Delaware Department of Agriculture; Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control; Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve; Delaware Nature Society; Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs; Kent Conservation District; New Castle Conservation District; Sussex Conservation District; Tidewater Utilities; and Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Office of Drinking Water.
To explore the many educational opportunities and workshops offered at DNREC’s Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve, contact Jennifer Holmes at 302-739-6377 or visit Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve
This project supports Governor Markell’s Clean Water for Delaware’s Future initiative – a comprehensive plan for cleaning up Delaware’s bays, rivers and streams so they meet water quality standards for drinking, swimming and supporting fish and other aquatic life. The plan accelerates a wide range of clean water projects that protect public health and safety, improve water quality, increase the resiliency of Delaware’s communities to storms and flooding, support our multi-billion dollar tourism and agriculture industries, create jobs and bolster the economic revitalization of our towns and cities. For more information, visit Clean Water for Delaware’s Future.
This project is part of Delaware’s Children in Nature Initiative, a statewide effort to improve environmental literacy in Delaware, create opportunities for children to participate in enriching outdoor experiences, combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles. Delaware’s multi-agency initiative, which partners state and federal agencies with community organizations, is part of the national No Child Left Inside program.
This project is part of DNREC’s Bayshore Initiative, a landscape approach to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat, increase volunteer participation in habitat stewardship projects, enhance low-impact outdoor recreation and ecotourism opportunities, and promote associated environmentally compatible economic development. For more information, click Delaware Bayshore.
Vol. 44, No. 90