Wild & Wonderful Water Science Fair

Fifth-grade classrooms in Kanawha County are invited to present water science projects at the inaugural “Wild & Wonderful Water Science Fair” set for Monday, Feb. 17, 2020 in Charleston.

The fair is a partnership between the WVDEP’s Project WET program and the City of Charleston’s Stormwater program. Other partners include West Virginia State University’s Extension Office, the West Virginia Division of Forestry, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, West Virginia American Water, and the WVDEP’s Youth Environmental Program and Environmental Advocate Office.

The Water Science Fair offers an opportunity for teachers to integrate Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives for Science into their fifth-grade classrooms with collaborative, fun, and hands-on learning, and is designed to support students in a forum that promotes creative thinking, problem-solving, and design principles to study and protect the world’s most precious resource – water.

For more information, download the Water Science Fair Overview, and the Rules and Regulations.

CLICK HERE FOR AN APPLICATION.

Rewards will be given to First, Second, and Third-place winners.

Important Deadlines

  •  Applications must be submitted by Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.
  • Classrooms will receive their materials and the judging criteria, and be connected with their mentors on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020.
  • An award ceremony will be held on the evening of Monday, Feb. 17, 2020 to present awards to the winning classrooms. The ceremony is open to the public. Awards will also be presented to the winning classrooms at their school.

Contact Information

Questions can be directed to:

Tomi Bergstrom, WVDEP Project WET coordinator – Tomi.M.Bergstrom@wv.gov
Lee Ann Grogg, City of Charleston Stormwater Program – leeann.grogg@cityofcharleston.org.

Single-Use Plastics – Putting earth in the hole!

This is the third year that the Charleston Stormwater Department has sponsored and constructed a putt-putt hole for the Charleston Area Alliance’s Downtown Open. Over two dozen local businesses create custom holes to participate in the pop-up miniature golf course.  The finished holes will be set up along the sidewalks and greenspaces in Downtown Charleston to create a one-of-a kind course June 24–July 8.

Putt-Putt your way through our single-use plastic fish! Soda bottles, plastic bags, & plastic straws are putting the earth in the hole when it comes to pollution. Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year and 500 million straws every day. At this rate, National Geographic estimates that the oceans will be swimming with more plastic than fish, as calculated in weight, by 2050. Plastic does not bio-degrade, and our waterways & wildlife are inheriting our trash.

What can you do?

Make a pledge to refuse plastic straws for a week, pick up litter you see on the sidewalk, or take reusable bags to the store and be part of the reduction of single-use plastics!

The History of Plastics!

On October 3, 2018, WVU’s Charleston branch of Osha’s Lifelong Learning Institutes (OLLI) invited Lee Ann Grogg of the City’s Stormwater Department and Tomi Bergstrom with the WV DEP to presented a lecture on the History of Plastics.  We learned a lot in our combined research efforts, including what drove plastic to be invented, its importance in WWII, the amazing advances it provided in manufacturing & medicine and how its single-use form is killing our global environment.

In 1868 John Wesley Hyatt answered a call to create an alternative substance to ivory for billiard balls.  For a $10,000 prize, Hyatt discovered celluloid, a partially synthetic plastic.

When World War II began, the use of plastic for advantages in war became evident and plastic production and further research reached an all time high.

Plastic production went from from 2.3 million tons in 1950, to 162 million tons in 1993.  By 2015 plastic production had grown to 448 million tons produced per year, much of which was (and still is) single-use plastic.

National Geographic’s June edition titled Planet or Plastic? has an in depth chronology of the journey of plastic and its present impact in our world.  You can read it by following this link:   https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/06/plastic-planet-waste-pollution-trash-crisis/?user.testname=none 

Vote for your favorite Snowman!

Snowmen frolic and educate!

The Charleston Stormwater/Engineering Department wants your opinion of which snowman is the chilliest stormwater representative.  They are having fun in the snow. Clean stormwater is very important to their happy existence. They want to educate people on what they think is the best way to keep their snow free of pollution!

LET’S INTRODUCE OUR SNOWMEN

Contractor Jake

Here’s Jake.  He’s having a little fun on the job while he waits to install his silt fence – the ground is frozen!  Jake knows jobsite runoff has to be free of dirt, so no excavating until the fence is buried at least 6” deep.  Watch out for his snowball! ‘When the snowboss is away, the snowmen will play!’

Snowman Flynt

Flynt’s green hat matches his green thumb. He uses rain barrels to water his plants & keep them healthy. Here’s why… 1) Plants love rain water, it doesn’t have chemicals like tap water. 2) In a 1″ rain, Flynt captures 55 gallons of H20 in 8 minutes. 3) Rain water is FREE water! Flynt is capturing stormwater & reducing runoff into sewers. He is River Proud!

Professor Snow

The Professor takes his work very serious.  He teaches Green Infrastructure & Stormwater Management at the college level.  But don’t refer to him as a snowman, he prefers to be called a ‘stormwater sculpture.’  He knows  that snow is stormwater and snow melt pollutes just like rain.  Therefore it makes sense, he really is a stormwater sculpture!

Snowman Link

Meet Link, he’s never without his I-Pad! He’s quite the techie, especially for a snowman.  He uses Charleston Stormwater’s Web & Facebook pages to sign up for programs, get tips on green infrastructure & find workshops.  Link just left a rain barrel workshop, he’s taking his rain barrel home to store until spring & leaving an online review!

Twinkle Toes

Twinkle Toes is an entertainer with a large resume for a snowman. Here he is performing one of his favorite dances –  ‘Singing in the Snow’!  You may recognize Twinkle from movies like, ‘Frosty the Snowman’, ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ & his soon to be released documentary; ’Black Snow, A City’s Dirty Secret’.

Santiago!

Santiago is the old man of the river & a smooth caster.  He fishes the Kanawha for Bass & Walleye and the Elk for his beloved Trout.  Here he is fly fishing the headwaters of the Elk, hoping for the 20” Rainbow that got away!  He believes our rivers are the soul of our existence.

Green Infrastructure grabs a PARK(ing) Spot!

September 21, 2018       PARK(ing) Day, 2018, in downtown Charleston, WV!

During Charleston’s first PARK(ing) Day, the Stormwater Department brought Green Infrastructure into our parking space.  The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more open urban spaces, green spaces, and people spaces.  Our space showcased types of green infrastructure that can be used in residential, commercial and municipal settings.  Rain chains and rain barrels for rain water harvesting, indigenous plants and trees and an example of a miniature green roof.  As Charleston continues to grow and development, we strive to include green infrastructure with our existing systems for stormwater management and pollution prevention.

Rain Chain that connects to a gutter

Green roof with succulents in a tray system

Drains to River Stencil Program

Did you know the stormwater that enters our drains and inlets flows directly to our streams and rivers without any filtration?

This means that pollutants in our ditches, on our roads and parking lots end up in our rivers. Items likes cigarette butts, plastic bags, bottles, and grass clippings all impact aquatic life. Most pollution happens when people carelessly miss the trashcan or absent-mindedly throw their cigarette butts on the street.
However, there are people who intentionally pollute. They pour oil, paint, concrete and other items directly into storm drains with little regard to the streams they are polluting. In an effort to educate, the Stormwater Department has implemented a program to label our storm drains and inlets that discharge stormwater into our streams and rivers. Our goal is to make a potential polluter hesitate and think about what his/her actions could be doing to our environment.

Stormwater Rocks! at ArtWalk

 

2018 Rain Barrel Workshops are coming!

 

Join the Charleston Stormwater Program at ArtWalk, Thursday, April 19, 2018 to sign-up for our 2018 Rain Barrel Workshops!

In addition to sign-ups we will be painting rocks for our STORMWATER ROCKS! program.  Paint a rock, post a pic, and then hide your rock!  Find a rock, take a pic and post it to our Facebook page.