A common goal to protect and preserve the health of the Corsica River brings a group of implementers together on a monthly basis. The members are from area agencies, citizen and government funded and include the Corsica River Conservancy (CRC), Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the town of Centreville. Going forward, students from the Wye River Upper School Environmental Studies class will be counted amongst the members.
With the help of a grant from the Raymond James Fund and Valliant and Associates of Chestertown, Wye River Upper School (WRUS) has partnered with the Chester River Watershed Observatory to place a custom designed basic observation buoy (BOB) in the Corsica, not far from the school’s new home in Centreville. The buoy will collect water quality data and send it digitally to a website which the WRUS students will monitor and analyze.
The Chester River Watershed Observatory is a program of the Center for the Environment and Society at Washington College in Chestertown. Led by Deputy Director Doug Levin, the program seeks to reach out to every student in the Chester River Watershed through STEM educational opportunities including the buoy program. Through funding from the Maryland Department of Education, public and independent school educators, are trained in curriculum and experiences pertinent to river and bay studies and are then asked to include the curricula in their classrooms.
Levin was a guest speaker before a recent Corsica Implementers group. He advised the group of the origins of the buoy, which he designed and coordinated with the CRC regarding data the Corsica River Conservancy is already collecting. The buoy will be launched off the Washington College research vessel Calientes, allowing students and CRC members to participate. The launch of the buoy currently awaits permitting by the MDE.
The WRUS students and their environmental science instructor, Dimitra Neonakis, attended the meeting to hear Levin’s presentation and to introduce themselves as involved caretakers of the river. The students will soon take responsibility on behalf of the CRC, for water data collecting at the Millstream Park site.
“This is a true partnership in every sense,” reports Chrissy Aull, WRUS Executive Director. “With the corporate funding that Bruce and Mary Ellen Valliant were able to secure for us, more students are able to get involved and work with civic and government agencies toward the goal of sustaining a healthy Corsica River. It is a total win-win.”
Wye River Upper School is a college preparatory high school offering a supportive, yet challenging curriculum for students with a wide range of learning styles and needs such as ADHD, and dyslexia. For more information: contact Katie Theeke at 410.758.2922 www.wyeriverupperschool.org
Photo: Back row left to right: Eric Ruby – MDE; John Fury – Town of Centreville; Mike Everett – MDE and QAC Soil Conservation District; Jim Malaro – CRC; Frank Di Gialleonardo – CRC; Chris Dorcey – WRUS Student; Doug Levin – Washington College; Chris Peters – DNR Forestry; Ben Kyle – WRUS Student. Front row, left to right: Debbie Pusey – CRC; Kate Draper – WRUS student, Dimitra Neonakis – WRUS teacher, Kellan McTighe – WRUS student.