5th Grade - 'The Story of Our Estuary'
Our 5th grade program is “The Story of Our Estuary”. This introduction covers what an estuary is, the finite resource of water, and sensitive estuarine species. This program highlights the pernicious nature of plastic pollution in our watersheds and oceans and how urban runoff affects our coastal waters in the Santa Barbara Channel.
The 5th grade field component takes students to the Ventura River estuary, where they collect and remove pollutant waste including microplastics and conduct a series of water analysis tests to evaluate the health of the Ventura River and and the survival of the endangered Southern Steelhead Trout: turbidity, pH level, and temperature.
Our School the Watershed
We are also piloting a new 5th grade program called “Our School the Watershed”, which provides drought response tactics and tools for water conservation, including water catchment and slow, spread, and sink methods. This program will provide a unique opportunity for children to see and design rain, storm and grey water capture, storage and infiltration systems suitable for their own schools. OUW is collaborating with Sierra Watershed Progressive who are implementing these strategies in the Ventura River Watershed and watersheds throughout California. This program empowers children to initiate grassroots actions themselves by reducing their water usage through grey water gardens and other conservative water practices.