Week 7: Watersheds
This week is National Drinking Water Week.
Our drinking water depends on the quality
and health of our forests and waterways.
What is a watershed?
A watershed is all of the land that drains runoff (from precipitation)
into a body of water, such as a creek, river, lake, bay or ocean.
Everyone lives, works, plays and uses water from a watershed!
For further explanation watch THIS video from the North Texas
Municipal Water District.
Find Your Watershed:
Head over to Lakes Environmental Association's virtual
watershed map HERE.
Try zooming in and out to see how a watershed
can change depending on scale.
Find where you live on the interactive map and
answer the following questions:
1. What watershed do you live in?
2. What is the closest body of water to your home?
Upstream / Downstream:
The watershed you live in is affected by what people upstream
are doing. In western Maine, the health of our forests protects our
water which also protect water for folk downstream in Portland.
Portland Water District supplies water to over 200,000 customers.
Sebago Lake and the Sebago Lake watershed provide such
excellent quality of water that filtering it is unnecessary.
Click each map for a closer view to see the difference scale can
play when you think about a watershed. Maps courtesy of
Greater Lovell Land Trust, Lakes Environmental Association
and Portland Water District.
A Crumpled Watershed Map
Click HERE for the lesson and instructions on how to
create a watershed "map" with a crumpled piece of paper,
markers and water.
Sing A Song:
We All Use Water
(To the tune of "Frere Jacques")
Drinking water, drinking water
You and me, you and me
Everyone is thirsty
So we're drinking water
Sip, gulp, slurp! Sip, gulp, slurp!
Going swimming, going swimming
In the pool, in the pool
Soon I'll be nice and cool
Playing in the swimming pool
Jumping in! Jumping in!
Now I'm bathing, now I'm bathing
Squeaky clean, squeaky clean
Playing with the bubbles
Washing my arms and legs
Splish, splash, splish! Splish, splash, splish!
May 3-9th is National Drinking Water Week.
Our friends at Portland Water Disctrict are
holding a photo contest with prizes!
Visit their website: www.pwd.org for contest rules.
You can post entries via their Facebook page as well.
Water Coloring Pages:
Print out & color one of these amazing water-themed
coloring pages from Sebago Clean Waters, featuring
local artists Hilary Irons & Sarah Lederer.
Build Your Own Mini-Water Cycle
For directions click HERE.
Each week we feature a lesser known naturalist in our Pocket Journal Series.
In this space you will find the full quote and more information about the author. Enjoy.
Amara Ifeji & Melissa Tian, Bangor High School Seniors
“Our initiative to co-lead the Stormwater Management and Research Team (SMART) stems from the rights of those who are robbed of access to clean drinking water and is our way of rewriting the narrative of our future.”
These talented young leaders have already built quite a resume for themselves including:
--Maine Environmental Education Association 2019 Students of the Year
--Leaders in the Maine Environmental Changemakers network
--Keynote speakers of the 2019 Changemakers gathering, where they spoke about their work in social and environmental justice, their personal experiences dealing with racism and being underrepresented in the STEM fields, and finding solutions to environmental challenges in their community.
-BioGENEius International Finalist
-BioME state competition 1st Place Award
-Maine State Science Fair (MSSF) 1st (2020), 2nd (2018),
and 3rd (2019) Place Category Award
-Regeneron Science Talent Search Top 300 Scholar
-Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair Best of Category
-MSSF 1st place in category (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
-MSSF 2nd(2020) and 3rd(2019) place grand award
Amara and Mel have been involved in independent storm-water research for multiple years while in high school, and with their research have dedicated themselves to working with other high school students from across Maine. In particular, they reach those from marginalized backgrounds, so that they can also learn how to test the quality of water in their local streams and find an interest in environmental science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). They are both passionate about challenging the norms in environmental-STEM and are building pathways for other young women of color to become more involved in independent research.
This summer, they cohosted the Stormwater Management and Research Team (SMART) Summer Institute, to train and excite other young women about a future in environmental-STEM. Amara and Mel are extremely rare high schoolers and are also motivated to learn skills such as grant writing in order to further their projects. They recently wrote and submitted a grant to a local Maine environmental foundation in hopes of gaining more funding to hold additional SMART trainings.
The Changemakers network emphasizes the power of collaborative and transformational leadership; where young leaders are not simply replicating what they see in others in positions of power but are truly listening to the needs of their community, and are finding the authentic ways in which they can contribute to solving problems and leading forward innovative solutions. Amara and Mel exemplify this type of leadership. They could simply forge ahead by themselves, but instead they are constantly collaborating, building up folks around them, working together to offer opportunities for others to advance, and innovating creative solutions that could not happen without these diverse teams that reflect the community. Amara and Mel’s authentic, collaborative, courageous leadership style is the future of leadership!
Upper Saco River Subwatershed
Sebago Lake Watershed
Casco Bay Watershed
Amara Ifeji & Melissa Tian