Students present results of water testing

It's not just hands-on education, it's "waders on" education as hundreds of area students take to streams and tributaries in the Maumee watershed every year to complete a one day snapshot of water quality. That day was held about a month ago with some 14 schools taking part, donning waders and stepping into the currents of area creeks to measure turbidity, oxygen, temperatures, current speed, e-coli and a host of other tests to measure the annual health of those waterways. On Tuesday, the results of the tests were presented by the students at the 21st annual Student Watershed Summitt, held this year at the University of Toledo. Students and advisors crowded the hall to hear the results and watch the presentations which ranged from bar-graph seriousness, to comedic video portrayals of TV newscasters giving the results. The results, however, were not humorous in many cases. They show continued concern on some tributaries with higher than desired levels of e-coli or fecal coliform bacteria. Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments has been coordinating the samplings every year, and Matt Horvat, who is TMACOG's Maumee watershed coordinator says the results can give experts a fauirly reliable one-day snapshot of the relative health of the tributaries, and can identify any real concerns before they become larger issues. For Whitmer student, Kayla Frontine, the experience opened her eyes to how dirty some of these small water ways can be. Thier school, tested the nearby Silver Creek and found more bacteria than they had expected and also found more fish and other creatures than knew existed in the water. Some of the other streams tested by students were Swan Creek, Wolfe Creek, Delware Creek, the Ottawa and Muamee Rivers and Shantee Creek. Eastwood middle school students also took part this year with testing on the Portage River near Pemberville.