Watershed in the fall

Silver Creek Student Monitoring Project 2017

May 12, 2017

2017 Silver Creek C.R.E.W.

Bright and sunny day for the third year of the Silver Creek Student Monitoring Education outreach effort at the Silver Creek Adaptive Management Pilot Project.  Twenty students from Bayport and Oneida High Schools participated in this year’s C.R.E.W. (Committed to Restoring and Enhancing our Waters) event.  Oneida High School teacher Greg Holder, and Bayport High School teacher Ryan Weed selected students for this year's C.R.E.W. based on environmental essays they wrote. Three stations were set up to inform the students about stream invertebrates, water quality testing, and drone and GIS work in the watershed.

2017 Student Monitoring learning about biological monitoring

Jim Snitgen, Water Resources Supervisor for the Oneida Nation, described dozens of species he netted out of Silver Creek at the “Invertebrate Communities” station. The on-going study of stream species will show if Best Management Practices (BMPs) installed on agricultural fields helps to improve stream health. The photo showing Jim and the students was taken from a camera mounted on the Oneida Nation’s Drone.

2017 Silver Creek Student Monitoring learning about Water Quality

At the “Water Quality Assessment” station, Erin Houghton, NEW Water Watershed Specialist, encouraged students to collect various water samples from Silver Creek and run field analyses for turbidity and phosphorus. They also measured and recorded stream data such as temperature, flow rate, dissolved oxygen, and specific conductance.

2017 Silver Creek Student Monitoring learning about drone technology

The "Drone and GIS" station was staffed by Oneida Nation Natural Resource Technicians Michael Arce and Tony Kuchma. Here the students learned about flying drones as well as training and pilot licensing requirements. Jeff Smudde, Watershed Programs Manager for NEW Water, demonstrated how G.I.S. and drone technology are used to track the progress of the project and the BMP installation practices. 

2017 Silver Creek Student Monitoring group walking on BMPAfter rotating through the three stations, the full group walked a recently completed Grassed Waterway and observed the importance of a BMP that helps prevent sediments and nutrients, such as phosphorus, from draining into streams and rivers. The day concluded with lunch at NWTC and a fun quiz to see that everyone learned at this year's C.R.E.W. day at Silver Creek.

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