Clean water is focus for fourth graders


More than 500 fourth grade students from across Baldwin County gathered last week to learn how they can help keep Alabama’s waterways clean.

The students came together at the Baldwin County Fairgrounds in Robertsdale where they built water filtration models and created their own watershed systems.

“We learned about bad pollution and how it can hurt our rivers,” said Nick Hansen of Spanish Fort Elementary School.

The students traveled between stations where the activities required the students to work together to find the best solution.

“This helps to teach them about the water cycle and why it is important to protect our natural resources, water in particular,” said Spanish Fort Elementary fourth grade teacher Margaret Clements.

“They love it. It’s hands on and that’s the best way to learn this. It sticks with them,” she said.

The festival is hosted annually by the Alabama Coastal Foundation whose mission is to improve and protect Alabama’s coastal environment through cooperation, education and participation.

“Water is an incredibly precious resource and we need to understand how to become good stewards of it,” said Valerie Longa, outreach coordinator for the Alabama Coastal Foundation.

“Students need to realize that everything we do on land affects the water,” she said.

The group stresses to students that it is easier to keep water clean than to remove waste and pollution from it later.

“We may not be able to fully restore or remove the damage,” Longa said. “Keeping it clean in the first place is always the best action.”