A Report on Water Quality Testing and Environmental Education
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Since the Clean Water Act of 1972 was passed, water quality in the United States has improved dramatically. Unfortunately, water degradation is still a problem that attacks lakes and rivers. Ford Lake in Ypsilanti is an example of a lake that is still threatened by both point source and non-point source pollution, both of which contribute to the high levels of phosphorus in the lake and its watershed. In addition, toxins and other hazardous materials are polluting lakes and rivers. Again, Ford Lake is an example of a lake contaminated by toxins. Fortunately, water pollution is a problem that can be addressed on a local, state or federal level. Local communities have power to affect the quality of the bodies of water nearby. This is true in Ypsilanti, where local groups are organizing to address the problems of phosphorus and toxic contamination. Furthermore, when people are exposed at an early age to the environmental degradation in their communities and given the tools to address these problems, they will grow up with a heightened awareness and interest in environmental issues. This report focuses on the problems and solutions facing Ford Lake, in Ypsilanti and the process of involving local eight graders in a water quality testing and empowerment program.