Grant supports watershed education

New Hampshire may have more salmon in its rivers and more students versed in the care and preservation of the state’s waterways, thanks to a $39,000 grant recently awarded to Amoskeag Fishways by the Environmental Protection Agency.

During an Oct. 18 celebration of World Water Monitoring Day, held at the Amoskeag Fishways in Manchester, the EPA awarded the educational grant to the organization’s Merrimack River Watershed Stewardship Program. The program, now in its sixth year, educates and trains teachers and volunteers from throughout the Granite State to teach watershed education and the Adopt a Salmon curriculum in their classrooms.

“We now have teachers and facilitators with the curriculum in hand needed to teach our students about the cultural and historical use of our rivers and give them the opportunity to raise salmon in their own classrooms,” said Helen Dalbeck, center director for the Fishways. “The key is the students are drawn in to thinking about our waterways in a very personal way. They realize ‘what I do’ and ‘the choices I make can have an impact.’ It leaves a lasting impression.”

Currently, the program reaches nearly 400 students annually. According to Dalbeck, the new grant will allow an additional 50 schools – most in the greater Manchester area — to take part in the program,

In addition to the grant, the EPA awarded the use of equipment to three volunteer water quality monitoring groups. Through the equipment awards, the Mount Washington area Israel River Volunteer Advisory Group, the Hodgson Brook Watershed Restoration Project on the Seacoast and the state Department of Environmental Services’ Volunteer Lake Assessment Program all will have access to EPA water quality equipment for five years. – TRACIE STONE

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