Kids Get Outside and Learn About Local Habitats

Submitted by Nicole Jordan

Submitted photos - Top photo: A 6th grade Icicle River Middle School student takes a closer look at the way a mayfly larva flutters its gills to breathe; Bottom photo - A 6th grade Icicle River Middle School student examines the result of their Wenatchee River water chemistry test to determine whether conditions are safe for salmon.
Wenatchee – Salmon recovery nonprofit, Cascade Fisheries, recently launched their Project: Watching Over the Watershed (WOW). During Covid their usual outreach activities were restricted to online and take-home kits but with recently relaxed restrictions, students from Icicle River Middle School in Leavenworth were able to get outside and stroll the Wenatchee River bank for a two-day 6th grade science camp providing community science and ecosystem exploration hikes. Cascade Fisheries joined community partners Wenatchee River Institute at Barn Beach Reserve, Cascadia Conservation District, the Leavenworth Fisheries Complex, and community volunteers for this collaborative outing.
 
The goal of Project: WOW is to provide local students with an active role in protecting threatened and endangered fishes (steelhead, bull trout, spring Chinook salmon) and their habitats. The community science stewardship program engages local students in inquiry and place-based learning as participants assess critical streamside and instream habitats, test water quality, and perform macroinvertebrate biomonitoring throughout North Central Washington’s watersheds. On May 25th, 2021 Project: WOW received $24,930 from Washington State Parks and Recreation and Conservation Office through the No Child Left Inside grant. The award will support this project for two years with Icicle River Middle School and an expansion with Quincy Innovation Academy in Quincy, WA. 
 
Additional funding was made available through the Icicle Fund and annual Washington Recreation and Conservation Office Outreach Grant Program run through the Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board, www.ucsrb.org. 
 
For more information on Cascade Fisheries or to get involved with Project: WOW visit https://www.ccfeg.org/. 
 
Nicole Jordan, Communication and Outreach Specialist, Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board can be reached at 360-319-1365
 

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