In celebration of World Water Day, EarthEcho’s Water Challenge Ambassadors in the United States led a series of impactful events and activities to engage their peers and community members in learning about and protecting their local water resources. Through their efforts, over 800 participants were directly engaged. Highlights from these events included:
We represented EarthEcho International at the Boston Museum of Science Women’s History Month Celebration Weekend, an annual gathering celebrating women’s contributions to science, culture, and society. We hosted an exhibit table welcoming museum visitors to participate in water testing using EarthEcho Water Challenge Test Kits. Participants were encouraged to analyze the test results and make connections to conservation projects surrounding local waterways like the Charles River. Over 225 children, teens, and adults engaged with the water testing activity or spoke to exhibit table presenters, and the booth was visited by the Museum photography team.
On board the Harvey Gamage, a 131 foot schooner, I had the opportunity to host a water testing event and class. The US Naval Sea Cadets, a military youth program that ranges from the ages of 10-18. A week long tall ship sailing training was taking place at the time, and the event was one of the many classes held during the sailing experience. Cadets had the ability to aid the water testing process, and learned about every quality that was tested for and why it was important.
I brought samples of water from Lacamas Lake and Round Lake to engage library patrons at the Camas Public library in water testing. I especially focused on explaining local aspects of harmful algal blooms in Camas’s lakes and possible solutions. I also brought various infographics on marine protected areas, eutrophication, etc. With the help of my younger participants, we filled a poster with ideas in response to the question “How can you protect local waterways?”
(Dania Beach, Florida)
For World Water Day, Saving Ocean Life Inc. (SOL) and I hosted a beach cleanup on South Florida's coast. Prior to the event, SOL highlighted our event on social media, using flyers and posts. At the event, participants discussed the importance of our waters and why it is critical to keep our waterways clean. Then, volunteers were provided with a bucket and gloves to search the beach for trash.
(West Haven, CT)
At the school science fair, I held a booth to show students how a water monitoring test kit works. Seeing younger and older students engage in water quality monitoring is great to experience, as this generation is what will help us keep our water safe.
My event was held in an underserved community and I talked about the importance of clean water, pesticides and fertilizers in our waterways, how I monitor water (while showing them), and how to reduce our water intake. I also had support from Southwest Florida Water Management District and Hillsborough County Environmental Services. They both provided wonderful giveaways for my event. The in person event had 10 people. My interview about this event reached 24,699,489 people through online and print audiences and the total national tv audience was 24,900 people.
I hosted two informational sessions about water monitoring and protecting our oceans at SquashBusters, a local academic tutoring and squash organization for low-income students. The first session was with about twenty 11th and 12th grade students where we discussed water monitoring, marine protected areas, and what the students could do individually to reduce their own carbon footprint, such as using reusable alternatives to plastic. We also discussed the Willow Project and I provided a letter template for students to write to the White House to advocate against this initiative if they wanted to. At the end of the session, I played an ocean-based Kahoot with the students that informed them about different threats to the marine environment and conservation actions and asked them to reflect on what they learned in the answers. I also asked everyone to join GenSea and passed out pamphlets with additional information about EarthEcho and monitoring water. In addition, I gave students stickers with a Boston theme that said “protect that dirty water”.
My second informational session was similar to the first except with a slightly younger audience: about twenty 9th and 10th graders at SquashBusters. These students were engaged in the presentation and asked a lot of questions which allowed for interesting discussion. One student was very interested in nuclear energy and this led to an interesting conversation about different renewable energy sources. I presented to the students about the same topics and also had them conduct the water quality tests. The students were also interested in getting involved in the Water Challenge which I appreciated and I hope they will join GenSea.
(Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
I partnered with the City of Fort Lauderdale's volunteer team and held a water monitoring demonstration while volunteers paddled, boarded and kayaked through Delevoe Park picking up trash.
On March 3rd and March 15th, I led a group of students from 6th grade up to 12th grade on how they can monitor water themselves. I talked through the testing process and presented them with a kit for them to practice on. The water was sampled from the canals that run by the school.
(New York, NY)
For the 2023 World Water Week Events in New York, I collaborated with Xylem Inc., New York City Football Club, and EarthEcho International. We were featured as an official side event of the UN Water Conference and featured at New York Water Week. On March 23, we hosted a projection event in NY that was implemented in three locations where we projected the wastewater video onto buildings and talked with people on the street about how to reduce their impact and monitor their local waterways.
For my event, I set up a table at my local library to educate people passing by about water conservation efforts as well as actions they can take. I was at my table for 2 hours and educating around 20-30 very interested people about EarthEcho’s efforts.
To celebrate World Water Monitoring Day this year, we teamed up with the Tennessee Aquatic Project and hosted a water monitoring activity at their adopted stream, Whites Creek, reaching 11 young people in their community.
(Greenville, North Carolina)
On March 27th we went to the Greenville Montessori School and reached 20+ people where we then had a 20-minute discussion about what water quality was and what it means to our environment. We then tested the water quality of a ditch filled with water right behind their school. After getting the results, we educated the youth about what their results meant for the water they just tested. We then closed the event by flying the drone that is used by “Environmental Drones” to inform the children the importance of youth leadership within communities and how we can make an impact!