Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capito and Senator Rockefeller
for meeting with the Stream Scholars in Washington DC;
Senator Byrd for offering a tour of his DC office and a
meeting with his staff.
(Romney), for donating use of a van;
Jennifer Titus for being a chaperone;
Tim Craddock and Alana Hartman, WV Department of
Environmental Protection, for instruction and guidance;
Jackie Takacs for instruction on estuary biology;
The WV Commission for
National and Community Service, WV Conservation Agency,
MARPAT Foundation and our members for financial support.
middle and high school students enjoyed a week in July
participating in the 6th Annual Stream Scholars
Summer Camp, a hands-on exploration of
stream ecology and conservation. We studied a WV
stream, worked in CI's water quality laboratory, visited
Washington D.C., cruised the Bay on a research vessel, and dug
through slimy black muck dredged from the bottom of the
The Scholars spent the first three days
in and around Waites Run at the Wardensville Town Park.
Monday they were joined by Alana Hartman, West Virginia
Department of Environmental Protection’s
Potomac Basin Coordinator, who spoke about the
importance of studying biology and about career
opportunities for scientists. Scholars conducted
stream habitat assessments and used field equipment to
measure dissolved oxygen, an important indicator of suitable
habitat for aquatic life. The also took water samples
to Cacapon Institute's laboratory and performed chemical
On Tuesday and Wednesday they investigated
how the population of benthic macroinvertebrates can tell if a
stream is healthy or in trouble (to see some of the small
animals without backbones that live on the stream bottom
here). Tim Craddock, WVDEP’s Citizens Monitoring
Coordinator for the
WV Save Our Streams Program, worked with CI staff to provide the training and
guided the stream investigation.
Stream Scholars is part of Cacapon
Institute's Potomac Headwaters Leaders of Watersheds program, one of
several Future Leaders of Watersheds programs funded by the
WV Commission for National and Community Service.
During Tim's training the
Scholars were joined by two Girl Scouts of Shawnee Council
who have been involved in a long term monitoring project for Waites Run that is
another Future Leaders of Watersheds program.
Tim was able to compare data taken this
year with other data going back to 1997. Waites Run
remains a very healthy stream. That is due in part to
the good stewardship of Wardensville Town Park. They
are protecting Waites Run from pollution by notcutting the
forest that grows along the stream bank. This ribbon
of thick forest, known as a riparian buffer, between the park
grounds and the stream, protects Waites Run by reducing
erosion, filtering pollution before it reaches the stream,
and providing shade for the stream.
On Thursday the Scholars headed to
Washington D.C. for a day packed with activities. They
first participated in a National Fish and Wildlife
Foundation grant award ceremony, where CI received a grant
in support of our deer
fencing experiment. The event included a ceremonial
tree planting by the kindergarten students of Tyler
Elementary School on Capital Hill. Our Stream Scholars
did much of the heavy work to help the little kids out.
During the ceremony, Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capito
stopped by to wish the Scholars well, thank them for their
efforts, and encourage them to continue their community
After the award ceremony the Scholars
had an opportunity to meet Senator Rockefeller in his office. The Senator listened to stories
about what the
Scholars had been doing and shared some jokes before taking
a group photo. Patrick T. Bond, one of the Senator's
Legislative Aides, discussed
current events with the Scholars in the Senator's conference
The Scholars also meet Caryn E. Compton, Senator
Byrd's Legislative Counsel and liaison for interior affairs.
Caryn discussed the Senator's intentions regarding the
upcoming debate about offshore drilling, and some other
pressing legislative affairs. We then visited
Senator Byrd's office, a virtual museum to his many years of
service to West Virginia.
It was a thrill to meet our elected
representatives and learn more about how government works.
We cannot thank Congresswoman Capito, Senator
Rockefeller, and Senator Byrd's staff enough for their time
Thursday night we camped at Point Lookout State Park, Maryland, where the Potomac
River flows into the Chesapeake Bay. After making dinner,
we played on the pier and saw some of the Bay’s inhabitants
like jellyfish and crabs.
On Friday the Steam
Scholars visited the University of Maryland Center for
Chesapeake Biology Laboratory and took a trip on the
Research Vessel Aquarius, a 53 ton, 65 foot long ship
equipped with a laboratory and an impressive array of
scientific equipment. The students were guided on a two
hour tour by Education Specialist Jackie Takacs, winner of
the 2005-2006 Outstanding Sea Grant Extension Program Award
by the Mid-Atlantic Sea Grant Extension Programs. While
aboard, the Scholars netted fish, trolled for plankton,
sampled the river bottom, dredged for oysters, and utilized
an $80,000 water sampler to test for temperature, salinity
and other factors at various depths.
We all had fun, of course, but what is
more important we learned serious lessons about the science
of keeping our waters clean and healthy. Grasping science
early will help Stream Scholars in life. Learning about how
government works and the importance of service will make the
Scholars better citizens.
Next school year some Stream Scholars
will continue their activities with Cacapon Institute in the
Potomac Headwaters Leaders of Watershed program. PHLOW
offers student leaders special lessons on watershed science
and works with them to develop their own watershed
By learning about and protecting our
watersheds, the area of land that delivers water to streams
and rivers, the young leaders will help keep West
Virginian’s waters safe, clean, and beautiful - and help do
our part in protecting the Bay.
Institute - From the Cacapon to the Potomac to the Chesapeake Bay,
we protect rivers and watersheds using science and education.
possible by funding from The Norcross Wildlife Foundation, the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Virginia Environmental
Endowment, NOAA-BWET, USEPA, The MARPAT Foundation, and our generous