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Green in Action Award Honorary Mention

 

Ocean Lakes High School

Virginia Beach, VA

 

Ocean Lakes High School Advanced Placement Environmental Science students worked with employees from Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) to install a floating treatment wetland (FTW) in the storm water retention pond at HRSD's Atlantic Treatment Facility on May 15th, 2015.  The students learned about the purpose of FTW's and the importance of installing it in that particular location prior to the field trip.

 

The day of the trip, the students took responsibility for planting and launching the floats.  They determined the placement of each individual plant and the proper amount of topsoil and compost to add to each plug in the float.  When they finished planting, they watered each plant and placed the floats in the water.  The floats were moved to a location in the pond with little vegetation and close to the site of storm water influent.

In addition to the planting activity, water quality specialists from HRDS met with the students to discuss and demonstrate water sampling techniques and methods or water quality analysis.  The students were given the opportunity to assist with testing and compare the equipment used by HRSD to the water quality test kits we use in the classroom.  We also discussed the role of the FTW and the potential impact on water quality. 

HRSD will monitor the water quality monthly and share the data so students can analyze the data to determine the impact of the FTW.