On Saturday October 20th, two Auburn-area AWW water monitor groups worked together to spread the word on water monitoring and watershed stewardship. Friends of Chewacla Creek and the Uphapee Watershed (CHEWUP) joined forces with Save Our Saugahatchee (SOS) to educate hundreds of passers-by  at the Loachapoka Syrup Sop in Loachapoka, Alabama.

CHEWUP/SOS/AWW environmental education booth at the Syrup Sop

As in years past, viewing and identifying macroinvertebrates (aquatic critters) from Saugahatchee Creek, was a big hit with youngsters and adults alike. Those that chose to take the ‘Creek Critter’ quiz were rewarded with a candy prize (assuming they made a passing score). In the process, they learned that the community diversity of these critters in a stream is an indicator of the steam’s health.

Two brave youngsters attempt the ‘Creek Critter Challenge’

Other popular displays included the Enviroscape, a miniature model of a watershed that creatively illustrates sources of pollution (point and nonpoint source) and land management practices that all of us can adopt to limit the amount of pollution flushing into our streams, rivers and lakes.

Kudos to the dedicated volunteers, SOS and CHEWUP water monitors and AU AFS students that sacrificed their Saturday to spread the good word! Hopefully more than a few additional Alabamians will seriously consider becoming AWW water monitors and stewards of their local waters and watersheds.