Youth leadership is a critical component to addressing the issues facing our water planet. This World Water Monitoring Day, the EarthEcho Water Challenge Ambassadors stepped up to this challenge, activating their peers and community members across the country to learn about and protect their local waterways through their participation in the EarthEcho Water Challenge.

After conducting ongoing water quality monitoring programs in their communities, and receiving virtual and in person training from the EarthEcho team, the Water Challenge Ambassadors, supported by presenting sponsor Xylem Watermark, spent the last several months planning and executing events designed to directly involve their community members in monitoring local water quality.

EarthEcho Water Challenge Ambassador Mykaela Barnes speaks to elementary school students about their local waterways.

These diverse events took place on and around September 18, and involved Ambassadors leading educational classroom programs for younger students, public water monitoring events at zoos and aquariums, presentations to entire school groups, water monitoring programs at local parks and nature centers and programs for STEM after school groups. In addition to engaging their community members to collect water quality data and share their findings, Ambassadors engaged program participants in learning more about key issues impacting their local watersheds including climate change and invasive species. Through their events Ambassadors also led waterway conservation action, including conducting coastal cleanups and creating educational art displays to teach the community about protecting their local watersheds. Beyond their core participants, Ambassadors also engaged teachers, local city officials, and Xylem employees in their programs, ensuring their efforts reached diverse community audiences.

EarthEcho Water Challenge Ambassador Katie Croom shares the importance of water quality monitoring with sixth graders at her school in Vero Beach, FL.

Through their efforts, Ambassadors reached over 1,600 community members, educating them about the value of water and providing them with an opportunity to directly connect with, and protect their local watersheds.

Editor’s note: We are grateful to our EarthEcho Water Challenge Ambassadors for their outstanding work, the community partners who assisted with their efforts, and to the Xylem Watermark team for their support to make this initiative possible.

EarthEcho Water Challenge Ambassador Sarah Emerson introduces the EarthEcho Water Challenge to local students in her Texas community.