SOLA3 Works with Rehoboth Elementary Students

For the past five years, SOLA3 has sponsored a hands-on, inquiry-based water quality workshop for the two 5th grade classes at Rehoboth Beach Elementary School.

The school is located on the banks of Silver Lake, where the workshop takes place each fall. Students learn about the ecology and organisms of Lake Gerar and Silver Lake. Students count organisms sampled from an unidentified healthy lake and Silver Lake, assess their data and determine which water body is the most healthy and why.

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Under the watchful eye of Todd Fritchman, president of Envirotech Environmental Consulting, Inc., a licensed, certified State of Delaware teacher of biological sciences, more than 100 fifth graders used their macroinvertebrate identification sheets and indicator lists to make informal assessments about the quality of the two freshwater samples. The results were as follows: Unfortunately, Silver Lake was lacking in good water and fair water quality macroinvertebrates. Instead, they contained numerous poor water quality macroinvertebrates such as leeches, worms, and blackfly larvae. On the other hand, the control sample from was teeming with Mayfly larvae, Gilled Snails, and Caddisfly larvae which are all considered good water quality indicators. The students concluded that the control sample was more biodiverse with numerous types and large amounts of macroinvertebrates that were intolerant to pollution. Therefore, the control sample had good water quality as compared to Silver Lake. 

After the analysis, students discussed the various ways they and their parents can contribute to improving the water quality in Silver Lake.

 

Rehoboth Lakes: Peril and Promise, a SOLA3 Workshop

Highlights of Speaker Comments, June 8, 2013

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE & REP. PETE SCHWARTZKOPF, KEYNOTE SPEAKER

  • Presented with SOLA3’s certificate of appreciation for his “continuing support to maintain and improve” the lakes.
  • Commended SOLA3 for getting the State of Delaware to declare its ownership of Silver Lake and Lake Comegys and SOLA3’s educational outreach to children.
  • Stated his commitment to continue to provide State funds for the lakes’ conservation.

 

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Pete Schwartzkopf, Speaker of the Delaware House, addresses the SOLA3 workshop.

DAVID SMALL, DEPUTY SECRETARY, AND FRANK PIORKO, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF WATERSHED STEWARDSHIP, DNREC 

  • Confirmed that the State owns Silver Lake and Lake Comegys.
  • Will conduct a workshop in August for lake front property owners to review claims of ownership, lake access, DELDOT right-of-way.
  • DNREC’s Fish and Wildlife division will likely assume responsibility for lakes.
  • Assessing whether the Subaqueous Land Act applies to the lakes.

 

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DNREC's Frank Piorko addresses the group

TODD FRITCHMAN, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTIST AND PRESIDENT OF ENVIROTECH CONSULTING

  • Reported on improved health of Lake Gerar since 2005 restoration.
  • Reported on improvements that have been made to Silver lake Shoreline.
  • Reported on conditions around Silver Lake that are harmful.
  • Emphasized need for watershed management, especially improving storm drains that enter the lakes.

 

COMMISSIONER PATRICK GOSSETT 

  • Reviewed recommendations for lakes’ improvement by Planning Commission.
  • Cited 10’ “no build” set back ordinance for Silver Lake, adopted by Rehoboth.
  • Indicated site review plan will be revisited.
  • Will press for regulations to control run-off entering the lakes from Rehoboth construction sites.

 

SALLY BOSWELL, EDUCATION OUTREACH COORDINATOR FOR THE CENTER FOR THE INLAND BAYS\

  • Said area bays have improved but are still considered unhealthy.

Thanks for Keynote speaker Pete schwartzkopf, who received a special award from SOLA3 on behalf of his efforts over many years to improve Silver Lake. Thanks also to  Frank Piorko, Division Director of Watershed Stewardship at DNREC, Envirotech President  Todd Fritchman and Center for the Inland Bays Education Outreach Coordinator Sally Boswell. Attendees also appreciated hearing from Rehoboth City Commissioner Patrick Gossett about efforts the city is making to improve the lakes. 

 
 

 

 
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