Numerous sources provide educational opportunities relative to issues pertaining to water quality. A few illustrations are outlined here:
In 1997 the Indiana Dunes Environmental Education Consortium formed in Northwest Indiana to promote greater understanding and stewardship for natural resources in the southern Lake Michigan region. Water quality will be an emphasis of the program. The Consortium is a private, nonprofit organization which includes representatives from industry, environmental groups, and educators. The first major project of the Consortium was the reopening and operating of Camp Good Fellow in cooperation with the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Camp Good Fellow is an outdoor environmental education center within the national park. A residential program for elementary grades will be the primary use of the center on weekdays during the school year. The facility will be the base for teacher training and other uses, including special activities for proposed high school programs, during weekends, school holidays, and the summer. The camp is scheduled to open in the fall of 1998.170
The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program is working with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to adapt a program titled Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) for use in Northwest Indiana. The agencies have received a $25,000 grant to conduct this pilot project during 1998. Two workshops will be held to develop a major watershed project proposal by the fall of 1998.171
Several programs integrate environmental education into classroom curriculum. A compilation of many of these curricula, teaching tools, and other programs is documented in the Groundwater Education Compendium, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Drinking water Branch (1994). An example found in this publication is The Outdoor Classroom for grades K through 12 which provides direction, resources, and ten natural resource lessons for classroom teachers interested in beginning or expanding an outdoor education program.
"Indiana's Water Riches" teaches upper-elementary children about water use, the water cycle, surface and ground water, water pollution, and water conservation. Materials include an instructor's guide, ten-minute video to introduce each of the five units, trivia cards and board game, all of which is available from local county extension agents.
"Water Watchers" is a program which the St. Joseph River Basin Commission has supported and partially funded to train area educators and interested individuals to develop a school-oriented program. An interdisciplinary curriculum for high school students has been developed which focuses on water quality of area rivers and streams with hands-on sampling, testing, and monitoring.172
The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant program prepares materials directed to water quality education along the southern shore of Lake Michigan. Various water quality education programs in 1995 were directed to adults. "Concurrently, to help assure that tomorrow's citizens will understand water quality issues, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant projects include teacher training projects, helping young minds grasp important issues and incorporate today's technology in learning ways to address those issues."173
The International Joint Commission maintains the Directory of GREAT LAKES EDUCATION MATERIAL.174 This listing is intended to provide commonly used educational materials and sources of additional programs directed to the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem.
The Great Lakes Information Network (or GLIN) is a collaborative project of agencies and organizations in the binational Great Lakes region to link data, information, and people via the Internet. The GLIN maintains linkages to educational materials pertaining to water quality and other matters of concern for the Great Lakes at the following site: http://www.great-lakes.net/education/educate.html
Other educational programs include the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education, Indiana Dunes State Park, the Aquatic Resource Center in Hammond, Gibson Woods Nature Preserve, and county Soil and Water Conservation Districts.175
The Department of Natural Resources, Division of Outdoor Recreation, administers Hoosier Riverkeepers. This effort aids volunteers in protecting and preserving the beauty of local rivers, as well as the quality of the watersheds. The program includes activities such as riverbank cleanups, water quality monitoring, and the Adopt-a-River Program.
The Grand Cal Task Force is a local environmental group developing a brochure that describes nonpoint source runoff and the Adopt-a-River Program. An educational slide show for schools and communities is also part of the Task Force's outreach efforts.
Project WET, coordinated by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, outlines a curriculum for children in the K-12 grades to facilitate and promote awareness, appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship of water resources. The curriculum addresses water's chemical and physical properties, quantity and quality issues, aquatic wildlife, ecosystems and management strategies.
Educational videos are available through the National Geographic Society. An example is Great Lakes: Fragile Seas and Water: A Precious Resource.