you will find essays written by two sixth-grade students from Windham Middles
School. These essays were a part of their Project-based learning on water pollution.
our water is clean
know that only one quart of gasoline or oil can contaminate up to 250,000
gallons of water? In the state of Maine, we need to keep our water clean,
because before we know it, we might not have any at all!
you worry about running out of clean water, remember that after you read this
essay, you will be educated with this topic. And if you are willing to, you can
help stop water pollution!
things we will talk about in this writing piece are; natural pollutants, human
activities that lead to polluting and ways you can help prevent pollution.
are pollutants that are caused by substances of a natural origin. Although they
are natural, they still pollute our water and cause serious problems. Natural
pollutants, such as soil are mostly carried into the water from runoff. As
stated earlier, these pollutants can cause serious problems like algae growth,
decreased clarity, and warm water. You might think warm water is a good thing,
but it actually means that the water has less oxygen in it. When water has a
very low oxygen level, some low tolerant animals in the water might die. This is
a problem because eventually, some aquatic animals could go extinct.
probably know, humans can pollute the water too. Sometimes, we pollute without
even knowing it! Next, we will talk about some of the things you might have
done that could lead to polluting our water. Not picking up your pet’s waste.
Besides just being gross, this will lead to much bigger problems in our water.
When it rains, runoff will carry your dog’s waste to the water. As a result,
the water will be turbid, and have low oxygen levels. Furthermore, when oil
from your boat ends up in the water, along with oil from other boats, it
destroys the insulating ability of fur bearing mammals. These animals would
include sea otters and birds. Lastly for this paragraph, is fertilizers and
pesticides. You might not think twice before adding fertilizer to your lawn to
get healthy, luscious, green, grass. But if you don’t apply it correctly, you
could pollute your nearest body of water. When runoff carries your fertilizer
into the water, the nutrients from this chemical makes a rapid growth in algae
in the water. As we learned earlier, when too much algae is in the water, it
makes the water lose oxygen, which affects aquatic life.
might feel hopeless after hearing about all the pollutants, but thankfully,
there are solutions! For example, one solution would be rain gardens. Rain
gardens are bowl-shaped gardens that are designed specifically to capture and
filter runoff from roofs, driveways, and other hard surfaces. They collect
water and allow it to sink, slowly, into the ground. Not only does it look
good, but it is also a great way to reduce the amount of polluted runoff that
flows into the water! Another solution would be an infiltration trench. These
are basically trenches filled with gravel/crushed stone that collect runoff and
filter the pollution out of it, making it cleaner for when it reaches our
water. Lastly, you could try vegetated buffers. These are trees, shrubs, and
other plants that catch polluted runoff before it reaches our water. Try some
of these solutions, and you can help reduce pollution, save aquatic life, and
keep our water clean!
nature, and animals all contribute to pollution, but now that you know these
solutions, you can do your part to help reduce the amount of pollution that
reaches our water! So next time that you apply fertilizer to your plants, leave
your dog’s waste on the ground, let your boat leak oil, or see construction
sites getting soil in the water, remember that all those things pollute our
water. But you, can stop it. You can make a difference!
Fresh water pollution in Maine
million people die from waterborne diseases every day. Can you imagine not
being able to turn on a faucet with clean water in it? Just imagine yourself
going to your sink, turning on the faucet and filling a glass cup with fresh
cold icy water. Because of untreated dirty unhealthy
water, a child dies every 90 seconds from a water-related disease. In my
opinion this is heartbreaking! Luckily, we as Mainers don't have
these kind of issues . . . yet. That’s why we need to treat our freshwater with
care if we don't want to have these issues. Some other things you will learn
about are what natural pollutants are and human impacts. Also you will learn
solutions to these issues.
pollution and human pollution are both bad but natural pollutants are the worst
for our freshwater. Some examples of natural pollutants are soil, and animal
waste. Soil is the number one pollutant in Maine because there's tons of it!
Soil: adds nutrients to the water which can cause algae blooms to grow
which causes plants not to get nutrients because the algae is blocking their
sunlight. Also, the animals can't get the food they need. In addition, when an algae
bloom occurs, it makes the water turbid; makes water cloudy and the dissolved
oxygen levels decrease; dissolved oxygen which is harmful to aquatic life.
However, If the sediments were to get into a fish’s gills this would not just
affect the fish, this would affect the consumers as well. People could end up
getting sick with a waterborne illness. This is just some of the many effects
of natural pollutants.
opinion human impact is the worst of all of them. I say this because most of
the time you can choose whether to pollute the water or pick it up and dispose
of it properly. Specifically, some human pollutants are car oil, fertilizers,
herbicides, road salt and sand, litter, pesticides, car soap, factory waste,
etc. Do you wash your car? Have you ever thought where the soaps go into? Well
they all runoff into the closest water body (Watershed) and pollute the water; instead
you could stop the pollution, so it doesn't affect the environment. Same with
fertilizers if you don't apply them properly they can affect your watershed.
Like for an example if you put down fertilizer when it’s going to rain the next
day. There are many ways to solve these problems the question is will you take
the time to solve them?
that you know some ways we harm our environment here are some ways to save it.
On the other hand, using BMPs (best management practices) help reduce runoff
and pollution. Some BMPs are vegetated buffers, rain barrels, rain gardens,
infiltration trenches, and dry wells, etc. Some situations where you could use
these solutions are when you have eroded spots on your lawn you could cover
those spots with buffers to keep the soil/dirt from running off into the water.
Another scenario is if you were washing your car on your paved driveway all of
the soap and chemicals would runoff because of the pervious pavement but if you
washed your car on the grass you would give the soaps time to infiltrate (soak
into the ground) into the ground so it wouldn't harm are water bodies. When
water goes into the atmosphere it does the same things as ground and plants. In
a similar fashion, it takes the pollutants away so it’s not harming are water
or the environment.
closing, as we saw earlier freshwater pollution is a big problem in Maine and
other places around the world. You can stop human impact by disposing of things
the right way like clean up road salt and sand in your driveway (use a broom).
However, you can stop natural pollutants by using BMPs to reduce runoff. BMPs
are very important to stop pollution, and I recommend using them if you have these
sorts of problems. According to Brian Tracy, “There are no limits to what you can
accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking. If you are working on something that you really care
about, you don't have to be pushed.”