saltwater

Lessons for Students – and the Rest of Us

by Tom Damm

children's healthOctober is Children’s Health Month, an ideal time to check out EPA’s Student Curriculum: Recipes for Healthy Kids and a Healthy Environment.

This nine-lesson program is available to teachers to help students (ages 9-13) appreciate and explore the environments in which they live and play.  Each 45-minute lesson provides basic information on a particular topic and offers ways for students and their families to reduce their environmental risks.

So, you think you’re smarter than a 9-13 year old?  Here’s what you’re up against on water issues:

The “Keeping All of Our Waterways Clean“ lesson helps children understand the importance of water in their lives and describes the life cycle of freshwater.  It also discusses how to keep trash from getting in storm drains and polluting waterways.

After learning the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define rainwater runoff, drainage pollution, freshwater, saltwater and potable;
  • Name three different types of waterways;
  • Explain three ways to stop drainage pollution; and
  • Explain how keeping our waterways clean benefits the entire community.

And then there’s the “Healthy Water Inside” lesson.  It focuses on water safety and conservation, and teaches how to avoid mold and mildew at home.

Our water wizards will be able to:

  • Define mold, mildew and fluoride;
  • List three ways to stop mold and mildew from growing;
  • Explain how water is treated; and
  • Explain some ways to conserve water at home.

Want to go to the head of the class?  Check out the materials in all nine lessons and test your knowledge on issues of concern to all of us – from climate change to household hazards.  And if you’re a scout leader or an instructor in another setting, use the lessons to help your kids become more environmentally savvy.

 

About the Author: Tom Damm has been with EPA since 2002 and now serves as communications coordinator for the region’s Water Protection Division.

 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Protecting America’s Coasts: What It Means to the Great Lakes

By Cameron Davis

Nearly 1,000 people attended the recent Coastal Zone 2011 conference in Chicago to recognize the first year anniversary of President Obama’s “National Ocean Policy,” to protect the country’s oceans, coasts and Great Lakes. So, why should we freshwater fans in the Great Lakes basin care about a policy that seems largely about saltwater? For a lot of reasons.

First, the Great Lakes are connected to and impacted by saltwater. Our front door is the St. Lawrence River, through which ocean-going ships enter the Great Lakes. Our back door is the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS), which connects Lake Michigan to the Gulf of Mexico via the Chicago, Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Both doors present a way for invasive species to enter the Great Lakes and vice versa.

Second, in an era of shrinking budgets, stronger coordination and partnership is important. At this conference, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s work with the Great Lakes Inter-Agency Task Force was mentioned as a good example of Federal and binational agency coordination.

Third, investments in ecosystem restoration typically come out of the same pots of funding. To avoid a zero-sum game, where one dollar for one system means the loss of that dollar for a different system, the national policy can be a mechanism to ensure a “rising tide lifts all boats” by funding and coordinating work in all regions while recognizing regional differences.

For more about President Obama’s National Ocean Policy, visit

For more about the CZ 2011 conference, visit

About the author: Cameron Davis is Senior Advisor to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. He provides counsel on Great Lakes matters, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.