Grandville Calvin Christian High School
Based on data being recorded by the Mayfly Logger sensor installed in Buck Creek, Buck Creek water has high conductivity levels. It often has extended periods of time with levels above 1000 us/cm. In the winter, spikes of almost 4000 us/cm have been recorded. We purchased conductivity-measuring probes, chloride test kits, and sampling bottles and beakers. Students took measurements of conductivity and chloride ion concentration 3 times during the winter & spring at 25 sites along Buck Creek and several tributaries. Students created graphs of the data. This data was shared with Trout Unlimited and inputted into an arcGIS map. It was also shared with the Izaak Walton League where it was inputted into their Salt Watch database. Students presented their work at the school’s student showcase in the spring, and their data was shared with the Friends of Buck Creek organization. We intend to continue this as a longitudinal study in future years. In addition to the conductivity and chloride testing, students also went to 1 site (Wedgwood park in Grandville) both in the fall and in the spring to monitor water quality by measuring several parameters using the H2OQ backpacks and calculating a water quality index for each visit.
Fostering Lifelong Stewardship:
I think this project has made students aware of the importance of a local stream. Some of them regularly fish in Buck Creek, and others live near it. Having researched the health of the creek, I hope it has raised their awareness of how our actions can influence our surroundings, including the health of a local creek. Regarding our specific salt study, students now know that salt getting into our streams can be a problem. They know that there are organizations such as Trout Unlimited and the Izaak Walton League that are interested in the data that they collected this year. Also, students have learned about best practices for the use of de-icers for their own driveways, and hopefully influence their families to implement these practices.
Trout Unlimited, Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds, Friends of Buck Creek, Izaak Walton League
Mike Hoekwater, 11th Grade, Chemistry