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Georgia College students 'Adopt-A-Stream' and monitor local water health

Students monitor water health by testing samples from streams across 26 counties.

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Georgia College students spent their winter break being "citizen scientists" by adopting local streams.

Georgia College recent graduate Sydney Brown spent her winter break helping the environment through the state's "Adopt-A-Stream" program.

"It's a volunteer program where people can go out, after they get trained of course, and just measure like water temperature, dissolved oxygen, PH, air temperature, conductivity," Brown said.

50 students took a four hour course and test to become certified to visually assess and chemically test local water samples.

"Dissolved oxygen is the measure of how much oxygen is in the water, which is important because fish need to breath too, and so you test that by, what we do is, we put different chemicals in the water and so that changes the color of the water sample," Brown said.

Monitoring the water's health helps track its effect on marine life and land animals drinking from the streams.

"Deer or something cannot be drinking acidic water just like we probably couldn't drink acidic water and fish can't live in acidic water, same for like super basic water. So, you need to have the right range for things to live," Brown said.

Students were able to monitor streams from 26 different counties. They shared their findings in the state's online database and gave a report to city leaders.

"Georgia College students come from across the state, so by having them do this over winter break when they are sent home shows just how far reaching doing it through Georgia College can be," Brown said.

Brown chose to sample from Fishing Creek, which is right near Georgia College's campus.

This program also fulfills one of the five "transformative experiences" every student needs to complete the Georgia College Journeys requirement.

Students from all different majors participated in the program.