Information Possibly Outdated
The information presented on this page was originally released on September 23, 2010. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Mississippi 4-H'ers focus on state's streams
By Katelyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi 4-H youth are teaming up with other groups to protect the state’s water resources through the Adopt-A-Stream Mississippi program.
Laura Giaccaglia, Bolivar County Extension director and 4-H agent, said local 4-H’ers and volunteers have been inspired to protect the water supply in their own counties.
“One of the things that we have done in our county is the storm drain marking project,” Giaccaglia said. “We’ve marked the storm drains in the area around Delta State University. People passing through will be aware of where the drains are located so that they can help keep them clean.”
Mississippi’s abundant water resources are excellent for fishing, swimming and canoeing. Residents depend on the water supply for drinking water, agriculture and industry. Adopt-A-Stream Mississippi is a cooperative endeavor between the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the Mississippi Wildlife Federation. The program recognize the many uses of Mississippi’s water supply. It involves 4-H’ers in stream stewardship and water quality monitoring and promotes environmental awareness and stewardship through training workshops, outdoor field activities and by introducing participants to watershed action projects.
Adopt-A-Stream representatives collect baseline data on the streams and rivers in Mississippi for use as indicators of stream health. The information is then used to promote the cleanup of polluted streams and the maintenance of healthy, clean streams.
More than 250 4-H’ers have participated in Adopt-A-Stream activities in their local communities at environmental day camps and summer programs.
Over the summer, Adopt-A-Stream hosted a two-day workshop that provided an in-depth study of watersheds, as well as training in biological and chemical parameters important to a healthy stream.
Volunteers can also with Adopt-A-Stream is by starting a Stream Team. Stream Teams adopt a river or stream, do seasonal litter pickups, streamside management and restoration, and advocacy work for Mississippi’s water.
Since about 40 percent of the pollution in America’s waterways comes from improper disposal of used motor oil, Adopt-A-Stream encourages volunteers to recycle motor oil from cars, boats and lawn mowers. Volunteers also are asked to encourage their neighbors to recycle oil.
Adopt-A-Stream promoted World Water Monitoring Day on Sept. 18. On this day, communities throughout the world had an opportunity to test water quality and submit the results to the World Water Monitoring Day database.
Betty Rawlings, MSU Extension Service associate, said the Adopt-A-Stream program has been successful in the state.
“It has raised public awareness of the importance of having healthy streams. There is only a limited supply of water in the world. The water we have now is the same water from biblical times,” Rawlings said. “There is no new water, so it is imperative that we maintain and protect the water we have for future generations.”