Maryland Department of the EnvironmentMedia ContactsJulie Oberg(410) 537-3010Richard McIntire(410) 537-3012
BALTIMORE, MD (October 18, 2005) – Howard County students joined Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) officials this morning to test local waterways and mark World Water Monitoring Day today at the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area in Columbia.MDE provided schools across the state with simple water quality monitoring kits containing 50 sets of tests that students can use to gather data on four important measures of water quality – dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, and clarity. Each school will have the opportunity to upload their data to a special section of the MDE website www.mde.state.md.us/CitizensInfoCenter/kids/index.asp to be added to data collected worldwide.“By participating, Maryland students receive a hands-on experience in assessing the condition of their local environment,” said MDE Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick. “Students will also be using some of the same basic tests that MDE uses to develop objective information needed for the assessment, protection, and restoration of Maryland’s waters.” Moreover, students will be able to view the results of their work online and compare their findings with those of other students. The effort also complements Maryland's commitment to promoting environmental education as embodied in the Chesapeake Bay 2000 Agreement. MDE utilizes a number of scientific methods, including real-time monitoring networks and sampling, to collect water quality data and evaluates it to assure that waterways are safe for drinking water, swimming, fishing, industrial and agricultural uses.World Water Monitoring Day is an annual awareness activity sponsored by America’s Clean Water Foundation, the International Water Association and a list of partners. The international effort is a partnership dedicated to increasing awareness of the quality of our rivers, lakes, estuaries and other waterbodies through hands-on monitoring and data reports. The project’s 24 coordinators, sponsors and partners include U.S. and international non-profit organizations, federal agencies such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, businesses, educational projects, environmental and technical research foundations.World Water Monitoring Day’s aim is to encourage volunteer monitoring groups, water quality agencies, students and the general public test for and report on the four key water quality indicators. Groups collecting data have until Dec. 18 to report their findings on the internet at: www.worldwatermonitoringday.org. All the data will be compiled and released in the annual World Water Monitoring Day summary reports.
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