From the flowers and trees outside, to butterflies, and even you – everything needs water to survive. Water is all around us. It can be found in oceans, rivers, lakes, clouds, and even underground! However, only about 3% of all the water on earth is freshwater – the kind of water that is needed to support life.
Because freshwater is a precious and limited resource, it is important that we protect it from pollution. Pollution is something that is put into the environment that is harmful. Water pollution leads to the harm and break-down of aquatic habitats like Louisiana’s wetlands. We can take actions to clean up and protect aquatic habitats by identifying if they are polluted or not.
The first step in determining if your local water bodies are polluted is to determine what types of aquatic animals live in them. All plants and animals need certain things to be able to survive. Some animals may prefer to eat worms, while other animals prefer to eat flies. Similarly, some animals may be able to tolerate conditions that others cannot. For example, the penguin prefers to swim in the ice-cold waters of the Antarctic, while alligators prefer the warm coastal waters of Louisiana. Macroinvertebrates are no exception! Macroinvertebrates are very small invertebrates (organisms that do not have a backbone) that are still large enough to see without a microscope. Some of these animals can tolerate polluted waters, whereas others cannot. Because only certain types of animals can survive in polluted waters, these animals are sampled by scientists and used as bioindicators.
|Not Tolerant to Pollution||Semi-Tolerant to Pollution||Tolerant to Pollution|
1. What is the name and location of your pond?
2. Would you say your pond is healthy or not?
3. How did you determine this?
Discover sources of pollution at your pond and develop a plan of action to help make it cleaner!
Find more information about the health of your pond in the attached PDF including a list of pollution tolerance levels of macroinvertebrates.