Fredonia's Sustainable University

Change the Environment One Raindrop at a Time April 18, 2010

Filed under: Activism — profsmcgee @ 6:58 pm
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Rebecca Chilson

I chose to focus on storm water-runoff and its effects on a local lake near my home town. I felt that if others could see what was happening to this lake maybe they could go out and help by sampling other lakes around them. We can change the environment one drop at a time.

 I live in the little town in Cattaraugus County called Machias. In this town there is a small lake, it is only a mile long and has a shore line of 3.3 miles.   It has 3 bays, no inlet, 2 outlets (although one is blocked) and is fed by natural springs.  In 2000 I began to help the lime lake cottage owners association (LLCOA) by taking samples from the lake to test for various things, but mostly water quality.  In 2004, the question arose of how the quality of the water was going down slightly each year when the water is fed by fresh water springs.  This is when the process of monitoring the rain fall run off in to the lake became very important.  

My Question, when I began this project was what is water run-off? Some answers I received were:

  • Surface runoff is the water flow that occurs when soil is infiltrated to full capacity and excess water from rain, snowmelt, or other sources flows over the land. This is a major component of the hydrologic cycle.

Ok so the next question arose; what does this run-off carry in to our water supply?

  • A land area which produces runoff that drains to a common point is called a watershed. When runoff flows along the ground, it can pick up soil contaminants such as petroleum. pestisides (in particular herbicdes and insecticides, or fertilizers that become discgarge.

  I chose to use a poster board and lab report because I was doing a lab experiment on testing the water that becomes run-off in to our lakes.  The poster is a brief visual with graphs data charts and my results that many individuals can look at all at one time. Whereas, the lab report is more in depth than the poster with findings, resources and references.  I also chose these formats because they incorporate and show the processes of collecting and monitoring. 

My project can be displayed in many places including but not limited to:

Science Fairs / Congress

Environmental   shows

And the finding from each year are sent to the Cattaraugus department of health to be analyzed and recorded

Project: Lab Report