The Nisqually River Education Project, South Sound GREEN and Chehalis Basin Education Consortium are offering the first ever Climate Resiliency Fellows. This program aims to build a dynamic community of engaged teachers committed to engaging their students in learning about and taking action in local climate change issues and climate resiliency projects. The Fellows program is offered as a part of a 3 year, environmental literacy program supported by NOAA. Teachers in the program meet quarterly to receive curriculum support and brainstorm ideas for action projects that address local issues. Charlie SittingBull is one of our Fellows this year from Salish Middle School who is working hard to actively engage her students outdoors! Here is her first post detailing their learning experiences while investigating the everyday pollutants of the Puget Sound; thanks Charlie!
Students at Salish middle school helped their community understand that Puget Sound Starts Here. The Puget Sound Starts Here campaign focuses on our connections to the Puget Sound. The goal of PSSH is to raise awareness of how our everyday actions impact this place where we live, work and play.
When it rains, water flows over hard surfaces like house roofs, parking lots, driveways, lawns where the soil has been packed down, and streets, picking up dog poop, lawn chemicals like fertilizer and pesticides, oil and car leaks, and many other along pollutants.
This polluted water then flows through ditches or storm drains and into our local streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands that eventually empty into the Puget Sound, Hood Canal and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Pollution in Puget Sound threatens our food, our water, and our livelihoods, and we continue to damage Puget Sound at a greater rate than we are fixing it.
Puget Sound Starts Here is a simple way for us to unite our efforts throughout the Puget Sound region and demonstrate our role in the regional goal of improving the health of Puget Sound.
Partners include federal, state and local governments, tribes and non-governmental organizations dedicated to protecting Puget Sound. Over 750 organizations across the Puget Sound region’s 12 counties are working to connect each of us with what we can do to help save the Sound.
At Salish Middle School, Students first hit the trails to observe salmon spawning at Kennedy Creek, and take water quality measurements.
Back at school, students dove into their projects by reviewing their data, exploring the effect of tree planting on numbers of returning salmon, learning about the lifecycle of the salmon, and studying non-point pollution. All of these projects led students to choose one thing they could do differently in their home. Some students decided to scoop their dog’s poop, others committed to not littering, asking their parents to use a car wash, or stop applying chemicals to their lawn. In the end, top poster designs hung around the school, and were projected on school screens and the school website. Students felt empowered to Do One Thing to improve the health of Puget Sound.