Student bug hunts help Wayne County track water quality - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Student bug hunts help Wayne County track water quality

Posted: Updated:
Fifth grade students at Gudith Elementary in Brownstown Township search for bugs. Fifth grade students at Gudith Elementary in Brownstown Township search for bugs.
BROWNSTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) -

Fifth graders at Gudith Elementary in Brownstown Township recently scurried out of the classroom to look for creepy, crawly critters.

The bug hunt is a unique way of keeping track of water quality, and it has a big, technical name -- benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring.

So what does it mean? Students hunt for bugs that crawl or slither on the bottom of the river, can be seen without a microscope and have no backbone. The more that are found, the better the water quality.

The kids dug through muck taken from a nearby drain, then they put the bugs in ice cube trays for counting.

"They absolutely love it. They get their hands into the science. They get to see that we can test the water by seeing what bugs live in there," said teacher Rebecca Matzo.

"They can see what true scientists do and how our planet is surviving and discovering what bugs mean and how we need them."

The Wayne County Department of Public Services coordinates these hunts with 13 schools and more than a dozen locations. They have been doing it since 2004.

The data collected is important to all of us because these tributaries eventually lead to the Detroit River. Things like storm water runoff, pollution and illegal dumping affect the bug count in our drinking water.

"We are one of the few schools that have a water source by us, so they can come out and test right here," Matzo said.

It turns out the preliminary results from the bug hunt show the water quality in that area is poor. We're told the weather and other factors could be to blame. Scientists will now try to figure out and correct the problem.

Click here to see the full report.

  • Robin SchwartzRobin SchwartzMore>>

  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:55 GMT
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
  • 33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:10:22 GMT
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
  • Handmade furniture from Detroit reclaimed lumber

    Handmade furniture from Detroit reclaimed lumber

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:18 PM EDT2014-07-23 20:18:32 GMT
    A new brand of furniture is made with wood from deconstructed Detroit homes. The tables are now being sold at Gardner White Furniture stores.
    A new brand of furniture is made with wood from deconstructed Detroit homes. The tables are now being sold at Gardner White Furniture stores.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Trench collapse in Pittsfield Township

    Trench collapse in Pittsfield Township

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:24 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:24:07 GMT
    Emergency crews are at the scene of an apparent trench collapse in Pittsfield Township.
    Emergency crews are at the scene of an apparent trench collapse in Pittsfield Township.
  • Two in custody after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Two in custody after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:22 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:22:13 GMT
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
  • Reward offered for info on who killed father of six in his driveway

    Reward offered for info on who killed father of six in his driveway

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:16 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:16:49 GMT
    A Detroit businessman and father of six, is gunned down in front of his own home.Tonight, his grieving family is demanding justice for Jacob Fry-Hooper, who was murdered in June.He was heading home from his brother's house on the night he was killed.Hooper had just pulled into his driveway. But as he was getting out of the car, someone fired several shots, killing him.Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,500 reward for tips that can lead to an arrest. To help, call 1-800-SPEAK-UP. Tipsters can rem...
    A Detroit businessman and father of six, is gunned down in front of his own home.Tonight, his grieving family is demanding justice for Jacob Fry-Hooper, who was murdered in June.He was heading home from his brother's house on the night he was killed.Hooper had just pulled into his driveway. But as he was getting out of the car, someone fired several shots, killing him.Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,500 reward for tips that can lead to an arrest. To help, call 1-800-SPEAK-UP. Tipsters can rem...
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices