The Great Swamp Watershed Association’s School Water Monitoring on the Passaic (SWaMP) program gives high school and college students in communities along the Passaic River the opportunity to engage in hands-on environmental science to learn more about the impacts of pollution and land use on water quality. Using mid-grade test kits, students perform basic water quality tests on samples they take along a section of the Passaic in close proximity to their school. The results are then posted by the students and made available to the general public via an interactive web interface that shows all test sites, which school tested which site and the results of those tests.
The quality of the water in the Passaic River changes as it flows downstream from its origin in the Great Swamp. By engaging high school and college age students along the entire length of the Passaic River as stewards of their local environment through practical hands-on testing of the quality of the river’s water near their school, they’ll come to understand that they can change their environment by changing their own behavior and that of their communities. The benefits of the work GSWA does on a daily basis to protect water quality at its source will be even greater for the people in downstream communities as they become better educated in ways each individual can minimize his contributions to water pollution by making small changes in behavior that reap big rewards in water quality and the safety of our drinking water.
Anyone interested in learning more about this program should contact Laura Kelm, Director of Water Quality Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.