Restoring The Runnins River This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Restoring the Runnins River

Wheeler School, Providence, RI

Using advanced field techniques to test various aspects of the river's health, we have identified point sources of pollution on the river. We tested for the amount of dissolved oxygen (oxygen dissolved in water) in the water, for the level of fecal coliform (a type of bacteria found in mammal waste), pH, temperature, turbidity and we classified the types and amounts of Benthic Macroinvertabrates.

We have formed a general conclusion. Primarily, the fecal coliform level is much too high while the dissolved oxygen level is too low. This low dissolved oxygen is a chronic problem, and will not sustain a balanced ecosystem. In addition, toxins from highways which cross the river make it impossible to support biological life for any length of time.

We were able to determine what technological, educational, and promotional materials could be used to combat these problems. We propose the installation of an aerator and a program of community awareness to initiate rebuilding of faulty septic systems. After these measures have been taken, we would support the construction of fish ladders at the two large dams to bring back the shad population to the Runnins River.

Generally, our philosophy is that you can't just solve an environmental problem of this type with a "technological fix" alone. However, we are committed to the idea that knowledge about the river is an integral part of any solution. The people affected by the pollution of this river should know as much as we do about the river so that it becomes as important to them as it is to us.

Students: Christopher Gordon Alison McLennan Aimee Olin Lillian Shuey Teacher-Advisor: Robert Brown

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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