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The Watershed Video Project. Respecting Our Community, Our Environment, And Ourselves. Take Action: Nonpoint Source Pollution.

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slide1

The Watershed Video

Project

Respecting Our Community, Our Environment, And Ourselves

Take Action: Nonpoint Source Pollution

Students learn about the severity of Nonpoint Source Pollution on water quality. Students will investigate possible origins of NPS pollution within her school or community. By examining topics at their schools, such as maintenance or cafeteria practices, students will gather information and propose solutions.

Companion Video

www.youtube.com/imakechange/

Select Video: Take Action

Features

Illustrates high school students participating in citizen science.

CA State Science Standard

Grade 6

7 Investigate Experiment

Credits

Gaby Geyer

Jim Neiss

Vanessa Sorrell

Grade 9-12

6b Ecology

9c California Geology

Funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's

Bay Watershed Education and Training Program (B-WET)

slide2

The Watershed Video

Project

Respecting Our Community, Our Environment, And Ourselves

Take Action: Nonpoint Source Pollution

Students learn about the severity of Nonpoint Source Pollution on water quality. Students will investigate possible origins of NPS pollution within their school or community. By examining topics at her school such as maintenance or cafeteria practices, students will gather information and propose solutions.

NPS Pollution

Background

Water pollution is among the leading causes of death and disease worldwide. In 1972, the United States implemented the Clean Water Act (CWA) to address water pollution. The CWA limited the amount of toxic substances that entered waterways by requiring permits from ‘Point Source’ polluters. According to the CWA,

The term "point source" means any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, or vessel or other floating craft, from which pollutants are or may be discharged. This term does not include agricultural storm water discharges and return flows from irrigated agriculture.

-Section 502(14) of the Clean Water Act

Water pollution that cannot be traced to a distinct source, and instead comes from diffuse sources, is termed ‘Nonpoint Source (NPS) pollution.’ NPS pollution is responsible for the majority of water quality issues in the U.S. As of today, 40% of the U.S.’ rivers, lakes, and estuaries have such bad water quality that they are not suitable for swimming or fishing, let alone drinking (refer to article students will read for homework).

NPS pollution takes place when the runoff from rainfall, snow-melt, or irrigation moves over and through the landscape. The runoff picks up pollutants along the way, enters the storm drain, then deposits pollution into rivers, lakes, coastal waters and/or ground water. One of the biggest issues contributing to NPS pollution is that unlike sewer drain water, storm drain water is not treated. Storm drains transport water directly into nearby bodies of water. Originally designed to drain excess rainfall from paved surfaces, storm drains have unintentionally become an avenue for NPS pollution to enter watersheds.

Common sources of NPS pollution include leaking oil and antifreeze from cars, pesticide and fertilizer-rich runoff from agriculture, building and sidewalk runoff from urban areas, machinery or toxins from businesses, oil, debris and paint from construction, and household chemicals or pet droppings from individual residents. For in depth examples of NPS pollution from these sources, please refer to: http://protectingwater.com/index.html.

Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • define Nonpoint Source Pollution.
  • identify local Nonpoint Source Pollution.
  • understand the difference between a sewer and a storm drain.
  • propose solutions to address Nonpoint Source Pollution.
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The Watershed Video

Project

Respecting Our Community, Our Environment, And Ourselves

Every household within every community contributes to NPS pollution. Under the CWA, industries have been regulated, but individuals have not been affected by these mandates. By using fertilizers and pesticides in our lawns or hosing away our cars’ oil and antifreeze into the storm drain, we all contribute to NPS pollution. Without realizing it, our human actions contribute to NPS pollution that negatively affects drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries, and wildlife.

NPS Pollution

MATERIALS

  • Video: go to www.youtube.com/user/imakechange
  • Select “Take Action”
  • Worksheets
  • Name tags
slide4

The Watershed Video

Project

Respecting Our Community, Our Environment, And Ourselves

OVERVIEW

Teacher will give a brief background about Nonpoint Source Pollution.

Teacher will give examples of NPS pollution.

Students will learn how to identify NPS pollution.

Students will learn how storm drains are different than sewer drains.

Students will understand why NPS pollution is harmful.

Through an investigation activity, students will find NPS pollution origins within the school campus.

In groups, students will interview school staff (point person).

Students will create solutions to address NPS pollution in school.

Each group will present their findings to the class.

Students with the most viable solutions present proposals to the school.

NPS Pollution

SET-UP

Contact a point person from each place of interest that students will investigate. Each location being investigated should have an adult supervisor that will be able to answer questions about the location. (suggestions for locations are mentioned below in step #5 of procedure)

Have enough name tags for every student in the class. Label half of them “Solvers” and the other half “Challengers.”

Print out a worksheet for every student in the class.

slide5

The Watershed Video

Project

Respecting Our Community, Our Environment, And Ourselves

PROCEDURE

  • Tell students that they will watch a video about Nonpoint Source (NPS) pollution. Tell them that Nonpoint Source Pollution is the leading cause of water quality problems in the United States. Ask students what kind of pollutants they think are considered NPS pollution. Explain that all households contribute to NPS pollution. Are they surprised? Do their ideas about NPS pollution change?
  • Inform students that NPS pollution is a result of human activities and we contribute without realizing it. Rainfall and snow-melt runoff pick up pollutants, take them down storm drains, and then release pollutants into a nearby body of water with no filtration process in between. Refer to the background of this lesson plan for a definition of NPS pollution and examples.
  • Place students in groups of 6 (5 groups in a class of 30, or adjustable according to class size). Pass out accompanying worksheet and have them answer questions as they watch the video.
  • Play SF-ROCKS, “Take Action” video.
  • After the video, create a list with the class of places or events in the school that might contribute to NPS pollution. These may include:
  • parking lot
  • cafeteria
  • cleaning practices (cleaning products)
  • yard/fields (maintenance)
  • transportation (cars, buses)
  • peeling paint
  • trash and/or recycling
  • any classes (auto shop, welding, etc) that might contribute?
  • Introduce activity
  • Assign each designated group a topic at school that they will investigate.
  • Within each group, appoint 3 students to be “solvers” and the other 3 students to be “challengers” by giving them name tags.

NPS Pollution

slide6

The Watershed Video

Project

Respecting Our Community, Our Environment, And Ourselves

Inform students that their goal is to investigate a possible origin on NPS pollution on the designated topic. Using the second side of the worksheet, they will interview the point person at that locale. (Students should be coached on how to interview the point person; interviewee should be valued and thanked for their time. Have students use sentence frames like “can you tell me about...”)

During the investigation, the “solvers” will break away from the team to brainstorm solutions to NPS pollution problem at that locale. Solutions should be cost neutral, labor neutral and be able to obtain buy-ins from stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the “challengers” will continue to interview the point person in search of complications or challenges to changing current practices. (Are changes too expensive? Do regulations prohibit alternatives?)

After the “solvers” and “challengers” finish, the workgroup reconvenes. The group returns to the classroom. Maintain students in group while they formulate a well rounded solution to NPS pollution at their location.

Each group should present their findings to the class.

Some students may be selected to present their proposal/solution to the school.

NPS Pollution

ASSESSMENT

As homework, have students write a short essay about why NPS pollution is important to address and what types of NPS pollution they observe at home or in their community.

slide7

The Watershed Video

Project

Respecting Our Community, Our Environment, And Ourselves

TAKE ACTION!

Wash your car at a car wash.

Use less fertilizers and pesticides in your yard!

Spread awareness about NPS pollution!

If you suspect someone/something of being a polluter, tell your local Public Utilities Council.

Start a recycling program in your neighborhood!

NPS Pollution

slide8

Take Action

Name

As you watch Take Action video, answer the following questions:

Marine Debris

What is Nonpoint Source (NPS) pollution?

How does NPS pollution harm the earth?

What are some of the things in the video that contribute to NPS pollution?

Why is the taco truck a source of NPS pollution?

What will the device put into the storm drain be used for?

Do they want you to stop eating tacos?

What can you do to help stop NPS pollution?

The Watershed Video Project

Respecting Our Community, Our Environment, And Ourselves

slide9

The Watershed Video

Project

Respecting Our Community, Our Environment, And Ourselves

After you watch Take Action answer the following questions:

NPS Pollution

Complete in classroom:

What topic are you investigating?

Who are some of the stakeholders who might be affected by changing current practices? (Stakeholders are people, groups or organizations who have something to gain or lose by an organization’s actions.  For example, students and teachers are stakeholders if school hours are shortened.

Complete at your designated location:

Name of person you are interviewing:__________________________What are some possible origins of NPS pollution in your location?

SOLVERS:What are some possible solutions to stop NPS pollution that are cost neutral, labor neutral and will include stakeholder buy-ins?

CHALLENGERS:What are some of the complications or challenges to changing current practices that contribute to NPS pollution? (Tip: ask your interviewee) FINAL WELL-ROUNDED AND THOUGHT-OUT SOLUTION: