November 10th, 2023 - Everglades Holiday Park
Eco-Teers had the opportunity to shadow a Park Naturalist to learn how scientists/ecologists use information to gain insight about a specific area. We learned about the different foliage and wildlife found at their organization such as Beauty Berry (Callicarpa) and how the leaves can also be used as insect repellant. We conducted a test using samples from two bodies of water and compared our results.
We took measurements on overall air temperature, water temperature, water depth and date/time of day. Eco-Teers took a more in depth look at scientific measurements such as pH, Turbidity, Nitrate, Phosphate, and dissolved Oxygen. We found that this was important to note as it gives an overall idea of how the activity in the area affects the water we use. Though our results from A and B samples were not far off they did tell us there was a difference immensely affecting our wildlife. Sample A and B differed in that A had a score of “4” in the dissolved oxygen category and sample B had a score of “2”. This may seem hollow as those are just numerical measurements but dissolved oxygen is required for aquatic animals to live. The scale in which we measure dissolved oxygen shows us that “3ppm” or lower are extremely stressful environments for our aquatic organisms to live. Anything below 2 or 1 will not support aquatic life. Levels 5 to 6 are typically required for the growth and development of these organisms.
This was further proven when we took samples of aquatic organisms out of these bodies of water and into bins filled with the same kind of water. Our pollution tolerance index came out to a score of 8 which is said to be “fair” though it’s not good or recommended for aquatic life to thrive. Most of what was found were dobsonflies and damselflies along with their larvae, though we found a few snails and glass shrimp. We also found much different organisms in Sample A’s body of water such as Pleco fish.
Overall, the census that we came to is that sample A had better water quality than sample B though it wasn’t too far in location or difference in quality.
If you would like to join the Eco-teers and help make an impact in our community against pollution and climate change, contact Ashley at [email protected] or call 954-473-2955 for more information.