Students from Augustana are stepping up to help improve the environment here, while at the same time getting a hands on experience.
The Upper Mississippi Center, Rock Island, Moline and Augustana College have teamed up to create a program called the Big Urban Watershed Project.
“We’re just looking for different organisms that live in the water body here. They’re an indicator of whats going on in the stream here.”
The students research 13 different raviens to determine the health of it.
“If you don’t find a lot of organisms in this stream its indicating that something’s going on so they can’t really survive well here or there’s not enough oxygen or there’s too much pollution,” said student Jessica Flondro.
They take all of the data back to the lab to be looked at.
“Levels of the pollutants kind of tell us what we’re looking at, what could be in the water. So high ammonia levels could mean a leak in a sewer line,” said Flondro.
They they give the information to the city of Rock Island and Moline.
“The fact that it has a real world impact and that it’s actually going to make a difference and we’re going to be able to give them recommendations and we’re going to be able to say you know these green spaces do provide a benefit, we should restore them,” said Flondro.
Before this project both cities never tested the water because of limited time. The students will continue their research throughout the school year.