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Preserving Water Sources

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Aging Water
Teacher Contributed

Aging Water

The Cuyahoga River is famous for being so polluted it caught fire. It's much better now.

Topic

Water Pollution

Student Exploration

Out of Sight

When people hear "water pollution" it is easy to summon up images of filthy disgusting streams which make your skin crawl. Some people may even remember when the Cuyahoga River in Northeast Ohio caught fire. Unfortunately, not all water pollution is so readily identifiable. Many chemicals are harmful to humans and not obviously present in water. To make matters even worse, researchers have found that sometimes it takes a long time for pollution to make it into our water.

Extension Investigation

Use the resources below to answer the following questions:

  1. How did the ecosystem around the Muskegon River change around 1900?
  2. How had the ecosystem around the Muskegon River changed by 1950?
  3. What is only now showing up in the Muskegon River? How can researchers know where this pollution came from?

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