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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Lake Lillinonah, Bridgewater, Connecticut, USA

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Lake Lillinonah, Bridgewater, Connecticut, USA
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Registered: October 2015
City/Town/Province: Danbury
Posts: 1
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Nicodemus Wilderness Project
7 October 2015
The Cleaning of Lake Lillinonah
My name is Daniel; I am a 16 year old junior at Danbury High School located in Connecticut. I participate in everything from being on the chess team to playing two varsity sports, being captain in one of them, to volunteering with the Unified Sports Program. My interest in this scholarship came from my love and passion of the outdoors and the environment but in particular from being an Advanced Placement Environmental Science student.
My teacher, Ms. Frost, and I and my fellow classmates are conducting a lab known as the EcoBottle Lab. The objective is to build and observe a land and water ecosystem, the water ecosystem including a fish, while testing the water in the bottle and doing observations. Each week we would untape the top bottle from the bottom one and perform each water test including dissolved oxygen, pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and the temperature. Sadly, the fish in many of the students’ bottles had died. However, my partner and I’s fish lasted three weeks. As soon as each of our fish had died we would be informed to take the corpse of the fish out and to not allow it to decompose because this would then create the water to have lower oxygen levels or in other words be less pure for the next fishes. This process will later be continued for 5 weeks total.
This led to me thinking on a larger scale. If fish are dyeing this easily in a controlled area, how are the fish in larger bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and especially the ocean survive? Out in these ecosystems there are even more variables, or factors, that can lead fish to die. Including, even the smallest things, such as pollution that people tend to throw in these bodies of water. These items, such as plastic bags people used in a picnic, or a plastic bottle, anything that does not belong in these ecosystems but somehow end up in it, can end up in the mouths of fish and any other organism that is able to reach it and choke them. This is just more and more factors on top of the already preexisting natural causes.
I decided that there has to be something I can do to help even the slightest bit. My girlfriend, Emily, happens to be taking the same class as me, Advanced Placement Environmental Science, and even have the same teacher, Ms. Frost, but, sadly, she has class three periods after I do. However, each of our classes are doing the same lab. It’s been four weeks and most of the students’ fish have also died but not hers. One could say it’s just her natural instinct. I introduced an idea to her that I had come up with one day right after my fish had died. We could combine a date while helping the environment at the same time.
Two weeks ago on Sunday September 27th 2015, we decided to put this plan into action. My aunt’s boyfriend, Dennis, owns three kayaks and knows of nice secluded areas where we could privately kayak. Finally we chose to start our hour kayaking trip out of the Lake Lillinonah Boat Launch in Bridgewater, Connecticut; up and down Lake Lillinonah which is located in Fairfield and Litchfield counties of western Connecticut, in the northeastern United States. It is the second largest lake in Connecticut, smaller only than Candlewood Lake. We departed with two missions in our minds; to help save some generations and to just have fun while doing so. Each of us three had a garbage bag in the front and the back of our kayaks to even out the amount of weight in case we picked up the amount of garbage we were assuming we would pick up. After the hour, we collected everything together and all in all it was a great and successful day; an exquisite date, a great workout, and most importantly we picked up a total of two plastic grocery store bags, six plastic soda bottles, and a 12 inch fish that we did not want to let decompose into the water and end polluting the water with its natural pollutants as did the fish in the class lab that had started this entire project. Luckily and thankfully enough we invested in a GoPro that I had bought the day before which allowed us to take some perfect pictures to sum up and describe just how eventful this date was.
Date: October 7, 2015 Views: 4329 File size: 11.0kb, 109.9kb : 1024 x 768
Hours Volunteered: 3.5
Volunteers: 3
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 16 & 16 to 35
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