Environmental Education

Water Quality & Watershed Education

The Niantic River Watershed Committee is committed to supporting water quality and watershed education among students in the Niantic Watershed. We offer a variety of education options to watershed schools, including classroom visits, a water quality loan kit, and participation in the annual Stormwater Classroom in East Lyme.

Water Quality Loan Kits

In response to requests from watershed teachers for assistance with teaching watershed and water quality concepts, NRWC developed a Water Quality Loan Kit. The kit contains the test kits and materials necessary for students to test fresh waters for nitrogen (as ammonia, nitrate and nitrite), pH, phosphate (PO4), dissolved oxygen, and temperature. A variety of test types are included to introduce students to different testing techniques, including colorimetry (adding a reagent to a sample and matching the resultant color to a standard), titration (counting the number of drops of a reagent added to a solution before a color change occurs), and direct reading from equipment such as thermometers. The kit includes nets, buckets and hand lenses so students can gather aquatic flora and fauna, and also a selection of sample lesson plans. The Water Quality Loan Kit is available for loan to teachers located in East Lyme, Montville, Salem and Waterford schools.

A local high school student compares a prepared sample to a blank while testing water quality in a local brook.

A local high school student compares a prepared sample to a blank while testing water quality in a local brook.

Guest Lectures

We love to talk about the Niantic River and the watershed. If you would like NRWC  to visit your class to talk about water quality or watersheds, tying State science curriculum concepts into real water quality concerns in the Niantic watershed, please contact Judy at the contact information provided below.

The Hole in the Wall Outdoor Stormwater Classroom

NRWC participates in the Outdoor Stormwater Classroom at the Hole in the Wall parking lot in East Lyme each spring. This amazing site treats stormwater from 22 acres in downtown Niantic through a variety of treatment practices before it is discharged to Niantic Bay. Third-grade students are led through the various stations by environmental professionals from organizations such as the Town of East Lyme, CT DEEP, the UConn Extension System, the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Resource Recovery Authority (a favorite with the kids!) and ECCD.  Students learn how the various stormwater practices at Hole in the Wall treat contaminated stormwater from the downtown area and help to protect Long Island Sound.

For more information about the Hole in the Wall Outdoor Storm Water Classroom, visit the Hole in the Wall page at the Town of East Lyme’s website.

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Students learn how a rain garden at the Hole in the Wall parking lot in Niantic treats polluted stormwater.

Please contact Watershed Coordinator Judy Rondeau at 860-774-9600, ext. 13 or via email at judy.rondeau@comcast.net to reserve the loan kit or request a class visit.