Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (October 10, 2008) – Today Baltimore City students joined Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Deputy Secretary Bob Summers to participate in World Water Monitoring Day at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. Approximately 45 Environmental Science and Advanced Placement Biology students from Digital Harbor High School took water samples along the shoreline and by boat.

“Maryland students participating in World Water Monitoring Day, in the Inner Harbor as well as across the State, receive hands-on experience assessing the condition of their local environment,” said MDE Secretary Bob Summers. “These students use some of the same basic tests that MDE uses to develop objective information needed to assess, protect, and restore Maryland’s waters. World Water Monitoring Day helps remind students, as well as all Marylanders; of the importance of knowing whether our waterways are clean and doing all we can to protect this most precious resource.”

“I think it’s important to get the kids out monitoring the water quality in the bay, having hands on experiences and seeing what real professionals do,” stated Beverly Feig AP biology teacher Digital harbor high school. “It is a great compliment to our curriculum.”

MDE provided schools across the state with simple water quality monitoring kits containing 50 sets of tests that students can use to gather data on four important measures of water quality – dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, and turbidity. Digital Harbor High School will have the opportunity to upload their data to to be added to data collected worldwide. Students will be able to view the results of their work online and compare their findings with those of other students, including students from Anhui, China, one of Maryland’s Sister States. The effort also complements Maryland’s commitment to promoting environmental education as embodied in the Chesapeake Bay 2000 Agreement.

MDE utilizes a number of scientific methods, including real-time monitoring networks and sampling, to collect water quality data and evaluate it to assure that waterways are safe for drinking water, swimming, fishing, industrial and agricultural uses.

World Water Monitoring Day is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies. An easy-to-use test kit enables everyone from children to adults to sample local water bodies for a core set of water quality parameters including temperature, acidity (pH), clarity (turbidity) and dissolved oxygen (DO). Results are shared with participating communities around the globe through the WWMD Web site.

World Water Monitoring Day recognizes the anniversary of the U.S. Clean Water Act, which was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1972 to restore and protect the country’s water resources. The coordinators of WWMD, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA) plan to expand participation to one million people in 100 countries by 2012.