Thanks to VW Chattanooga, our teacher training workshop on Sapelo Island is happening again! It’s a great place to learn about coastal ecology but also get energized along side other teacher all organized by the fabulous Jim Watson. Teacher education goes to the coast!
I have to brag on the Chattanooga Junior Rowers crew…..Katie and Lizze nearly fell in a very cold Tennessee River trying to get the litter out that had blown in from the regatta site. Just think if our river was covered in trash….would the Head of the Hooch want to hold its regatta in Chattanooga? Would the long distance swimmers Swim the Suck and keep swimming for 10 miles down the river? We have issues with our river…from sewage to medications, but it still keeps flowing. Chattanooga has such spectacular outdoor resources….let’s make sure the water is respected, too.
Yuck! I just read through an August 2010 report on impaired streams in Tennessee, and guess what I found? Escherichia coli, and lots of it in the Lower Tennessee River watershed. In Hamilton county alone, there are tens and tens of miles of creeks and streams with medium to high E. coli counts, some due to septic tank leakage, some due to livestock. Saint Lucia and other developing nations aren’t the only ones with poo in the water! Just keep that in mind if you’re ever out in a creek and thinking of drinking the water straight-up; there could be cows just upstream! And if you’re curious, you can check out the detailed PDF of water-quality-challenged Tennessee waterways here.
In the hot drought-oriented summers of the US Southeast, lawns and plants could easily turn brown and die off without extra watering. However, an average of 30% of that water evaporates off without actually making it into the ground, and in desert climates like the Southwest, that loss can jump up to 50%! So if you have to water your plants, make sure you’re getting the most out of it with a few tips.
1. Try to water early in the morning or late in the evening during cooler times of the day when the sun’s not out in full force. You’ll cut your evaporation losses substantially, as well as your water bill!
2. Water the plant’s roots, not the foliage. Not only will water tend to evaporate off the leaves more easily, but it also increases your risks for pests and disease. You can water the roots more deeply with that water you used to waste on the leaves and hence less often!
3. This seems like a no-brainer, but make sure you are actually watering your plants, and not the sidewalk or concrete! Check the range of your automatic sprinkler system, or if you water manually, never leave the hose running unattended where it might end up stuck on the driveway and running water straight into the drain.
Contrary to popular belief, the US is not free from the water quality problems that plague many developing nations! After a water supply breach due to extensive flooding, the city of Minot, North Dakota issued a “boil order” for all residents. Imagine how different your life would be if drinking or even using your tap water put you at serious risk for nasty infections! That was June 25, and now 3 weeks later, a large part of the city still doesn’t have safe water coming out of their faucets. You can check out what constitutes a “boil order” here. If you live somewhere you don’t have to boil your own drinking water, take a moment to send some good vibes to your local water quality department, and then enjoy a refreshing glass of agua.
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PO Box 4437
Chattanooga, TN 37405
Email: info at caribbean-sea.org