Last Thursday we visited Rock Creek Middle School in their classroom for the last activity of the trimester – a macroinvertebrate survey!
Students in Christy Kelley’s class got the basics on macroinvertebrate testing. Meghan(SOLV) filled the students in on the importance of finding macroinvertebrates, or insects and other living things that can be seen with the naked eye and have no backbone, as they are indicators of stream health and pollution. Students came across stoneflies, mayflies and scuds.
With our middle school groups, SOLV uses a method of macroinvertebrate testing called Pollution Tolerance Index and this allows students to determine how clean a waterway is by the aquatic bugs and organisms they find. Students even found several sensitive species. Based on our data the stream rated a 16 which equals fair water quality. (>23 = Excellent, 17-22 = Good, 11-16 = Fair, <10 = Poor) See the data sheet below!
We are planting native trees and shrubs along Rock Creek to hopefully one day shade the stream and filter pollutants to improve water quality. So maybe one day we will find an excellent macroinvertebrate survey at Rock Creek!