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Project Watershed Central New York

Dedicated to facilitating water resource education in Central New York

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1) Supervised by their teachers, five student teams review the results of the 2004 Onondaga Watershed Database Inquiry project (OWDI). These teams review the monitoring data relevant to the following tributaries they monitor at the
database and examine the OWDI project stream site images of those tributaries: Beartrap Creek, Geddes Brook, Harbor Brook, Nine Mile Creek and Onondaga Creek. Student teams are recruited from Bishop Ludden High School, Marcellus High School, Cicero North Syracuse High School, Westhill High School, and LaFayette High School.

2) The teacher of each team directs the students to examine thoroughly their tributary’s images for both good and bad channel, stream bed and stream bank conditions. Supported by selected web sites and handouts, the students learn about restoration practices that correct these degraded conditions.

3) Each student team then identifies previously collected parameter data that may have resulted from the aforementioned conditions. For example, high total dissolved solids, turbidity and stream flow measurements might indicate that sediment loading is resulting from erosion at or upstream from their tributary site.

4) Student team members with their teachers learn the fundamentals of stream dynamics, stream degradation issues and stream restoration practices through field experiences:
on-site visits to stream restoration projects at Nine Mile and upper Onondaga Creeks conducted by an Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District technician familiar with this technology
instruction by the technician showing how sediment loading due to soil loss is measured.
Each teacher records images of the stream restoration projects, the sediment loading measurement and the interaction between their students and the technician. Syracuse University’s Living SchoolBook (LSB) staff member videotapes the technician’s explanation of the restoration technology and sediment loading measurement used at the sites, in his office for future reference by the student teams.

5) During the 2005 fall monitoring activities at their selected stream site, each student team thoroughly studies the observed dynamics of the stream, and with teacher-recorded images, collects images of good and bad conditions (both natural and man-made) of the stream channel, stream bed and stream bank. As requested, LSB also records images of the flow of the stream to show the action and influence of its dynamics on the site.

6) At their schools, student teams draw conclusions about the status of their stream site and corridor based on their observations and teacher recorded images. Where possible, they correlate previously collected water quality data with good and bad channel, stream bed and stream bank physical conditions.

7) Preparation of project reports:
Each student team prepares a written report supported by visuals showing the good conditions observed at their stream corridor.
Each student team prepares a written report and a stream restoration design* with visuals for the correction of each bad condition(s) at their stream site.
- Both reports should include references to the aforementioned stream dynamics and                stream restoration experiences offered to the students in this project.

- Their design report should include a projected sediment loading reduction as an     assessment of their design work.
- The reports should cite relevant water quality data that support the good and/or    bad stream stream site conditions observed.

* Criteria for Stream Restoration Design
Each student team’s design report must include:
description of the selected stream site(s)
the rationale for using the selected design - reduction of sediment loading, habitat restoration, improved fishery, etc.
a contrast of the targeted stream site before and after design, if implemented
a statement of conditions desirable but not attainable
proposed post-design implementation monitoring to assess success of the design
the estimated cost of constructing the designed restoration structure(s).

As requested, LSB assists each student team with the visual components of these reports.

8) At a project concluding forum, each student team delivers a power point presentation on their reports before the other teams and their teachers.Two stream dynamics and stream restoration technicians judge each of the student team’s presentations. LSB videotapes these presentations for inclusion on the Internet as examples of student inquiry and learning about a relatively new technology in the Onondaga Lake watershed.


May - August 2005 Plan and implement OLTRDS Project with teachers and               students.

September 2005 Conduct field work at tributaries for students.

October 2005 Preparation of restoration designs by students.

November 2005 Final forum and judging of design presentations.



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