Millennium Youth Conservationists
General MYC Information
Members of the MYC have the opportunity to interact with other individuals who share their love and interest in nature while learning about issues pertaining to water quality and gaining valuable community service hours. The MYC currently monitors four sites in Geauga County within the Chagrin River and Grand River watersheds.
So how do we scientifically determine water quality? Briefly, there are two categories we look at, the chemistry and biology of the water. When measuring the chemistry, we record the levels of dissolved oxygen, conductivity, salinity, pH (whether the water is acidic or basic), and temperature of the water. Since water chemistry can fluctuate and change from day to day, it is important to also look at the biology of the stream. This is done by collecting, identifying, counting, and later releasing small water creatures known as macroinvertebrates that often hide in fast-moving riffle areas of rivers and streams either under rocks, tightly gripping the bottom of rocks with their streamlined bodies, or in the bottom sediments. The relative number of pollution intolerant and pollution tolerant species gives a quantifiable picture of the quality of the creek or river water which is then ranked as excellent, good, fair, or poor according to a number formula devised by water quality experts. Data collected is submitted to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources so they are able to review any differences in the chemistry and biology found that may alert them to a problem with the water quality of that stream.
Students from throughout the county will be monitoring sites again this year. If you are interested in participating, please contact Colleen Sharp at Geauga SWCD for more information, 440-834-1122 ext. 1766.
Conservation Poster Contest
But what is a watershed? A watershed is an area of land that channels rainfall and snowmelt to creeks, streams, and rivers, eventually leading to outflow points such as reservoirs, bays, and the ocean. Those bodies of water are all connected, so every drop that falls becomes part of one water. Watersheds can be any size and usually have some high points of land like hills, mountains, or ridges. When rain, sleet, or snow falls to the ground, the precipitation runs from those higher points to the lower points. Gravity pulls the water downhill until it reaches a body of water. If the land in the watershed is steep, the water usually runs off into rivers or streams. If the land in the watershed is level, the water will slowly flow into lakes or ponds, or seep into the soil and add to groundwater. If the watershed is close to the ocean, then tidal marshes, estuaries, and wetlands will be part of the watershed. From the top of the mountain all the way to the coast, it is all one water.Have you ever watched it rain? The raindrops fall on the ground and flow through the soil. Water soaks through the soil until it reaches groundwater, which is water that moves through spaces in soil and rock underground. A lot of the water we use and drink every day comes from water in the ground. As it rains and the water runs off, it collects in rivers, lakes, and oceans and then returns to the atmosphere to fall as rain somewhere else. All land across the entire earth is made up of watersheds. We all live in a watershed. We share the water in our watershed with other people, with animals, and with plants because… it is all one water.
An award for first place and second place will be awarded in each category and winners will be recognized at the District Annual Meeting this fall.The first-place winners of each category move on to the State Competition. First place winners in each category from the state competition move on to the National Competition. Request a school program today for your class "Watershed-One Water" to help prepare your students to get their creative juices flowingemail Katie Nainiger, or call 440-834-1122 ext. 1765.
Past Poster Contest Winners
Camp Canopy Scholarship Funding
For more information about Camp Canopy, visit www.ohioforest.org.