Michigan Technological University, a leading public research university and key educational leader in Michigan, will soon begin implementing a 2-year project titled, Creating Great Lakes Stewards to Promote Clean Drinking Water & Healthy Urban Watersheds in Detroit, under the leadership of Joan Chadde, Director of the MTU Center for Science & Environmental Outreach. The project is funded with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Education grant of $91,000. Grant recipients are required to award $4550 to each of five non-profits who will participate in the project. The following sub-grantees will assist with the project: Belle Isle Nature Center/Detroit Zoological Society (DZS), Detroit Math & Science Center/Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), Wayne State University’s Healthy Urban Waters, Detroit Audubon, and Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision. These collaborating agencies will contribute staff time and or cost share: U.S. Forest Service Urban Connections Program, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and DPSCD.
The overall project goal is to build student and teacher capacity to steward the urban water resources of Detroit now and in the future. The project will engage 32 teachers at 16 schools, reaching 960 middle school students over 2 years, in becoming stewards of their community’s drinking water. Teachers will participate in five workshops during the school year to enhance their environmental education teaching skills and knowledge of their local water resources. Students will participate in 3 field trips during the school year which includes: visiting the Detroit drinking water treatment plant, conducting stream health or ecosystem monitoring, and completing a stewardship project. The 2013-14 student body demographics of Detroit schools are: 80% qualify for free / reduced lunch, 83.9% are African American, 12% Hispanic, 2.36% White and <2% other, with a 71% graduation rate in 2014. (2013-14 Data from NCES).
The following Michigan Tech faculty and staff are contributing their time as cost share on the project: Dr. Audra Morse, CEE chair; Dr. Daisuke Minakata , CEE; Dr. Hugh Gorman, Chair, Dept. of Social Sciences; Gerald Jondreau, School of Forest Resources & Environmental Science; and Dr. Kathryn Perrine, Dept. of Chemistry.