Pre-Visit Lesson Suggestions:
We All live in a watershed

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Background Information

No matter where you are right now, you are in a watershed. A watershed is an area of land that drains to a common point such as a creek, stream, river, or lake. We often refer to watersheds interchangeably as ‘basins.’ Our homes, schools, grocery stores, shopping malls, soccer fields, baseball diamonds, where we grow our food, and where we play all exist in watersheds.

Because all of the water drains to one common point, everything that we do on the land within a watershed can impact our shared water resources. Water can become contaminated when unwanted materials, or pollutants, end up in the water.

There are two types of water pollution: point source pollution and nonpoint source pollution. Point source pollution can be traced back to its original source, or point, where the polluting substance directly enters the waterway, for instance, a factory discharge pipe releasing chemicals into a river. Nonpoint source pollution happens when rainfall/snowmelt water runs across the land or through the ground, picking up pollutants along the way, and they are deposited into downstream water bodies. Nonpoint source pollutants include sediment, nutrients, pesticides, bacteria, oil, grease, and more.

 

Vocabulary

Watershed: An area of land that drains to a common point
Natural Resources: Materials found in nature that are used by humans and other living things
Bacteria: Microscopic single-celled organisms that aid in digestion, aid in decay of living things, and can cause disease
Organisms: Living things
Disposable: Something used once and thrown away
Nutrients: Substances in food that are essential for growth and life

 

Books

Flush by Carl Hiasson
Letting Swift River Go by Jane Yolan

 

Videos

A Culture of Conservation Video Series (and Enhanced Learning Activities)
      Building A Culture of Conservation: Iowan to Iowan 
      We All Have a Place in the Watershed 
      Troubled Waters 
      Out to the Lakes 

What’s In Your Water?
      Fishing (Video and The Clean Water Game)
      Golfing (Video and Activity)
      The Beach (Video and Activity)
      The Farm (Video and Erosion Activity)
      The Mudfight (Video and Worksheet)
      The Shower (Video and Activity)
      The Walk (Video and Worksheet)
      Tubing (Video and Worksheet)