Students of Rogers Middle School in Rockland used a watershed map to understand what watershed they live in and how water moves across the town and into our estuaries and bays. Through this, the students understand the importance of keeping our land and water clean.

The students on the South Shore learned about their local water resources and water conservation by participating in the NSRWA Water All Around You program. Funded by the WaterSmart towns – Cohasset, Duxbury, Hanover, Hingham, Hull, Kingston, Marshfield, Norwell, Pembroke, Rockland, Scituate and Weymouth – the curriculum is part of the regional WaterSmart program educating both students and parents alike on the importance behind the care and use of their local water resources. This year the program was brought to 36 schools and educated 2,465 students.

Through fun, interactive, and hands-on activities, the students engage in learning experiences that relate to their town, their water, their environment, and ultimately themselves. Activities included seeing how water can collect pollutants and runoff into local waterways, playing a game exploring and discussing ways in which students can conserve water at home, discovering there is water underground and how our actions above the surface can have an effect below our feet – just to name a few. At one station, students even took a water taste test to compare 3 different types of water. Through a fun and interactive approach, students became aware and engaged around this invaluable resource.

Some schools elected to include a field trip as part of the program. These excursions to local sites reinforce the concepts covered during the school stations program. Field trips from 2023 were:
  • Pembroke Schools – Students from Pembroke went to historic Herring Run Park to see the river herring during their spring migration. While there, the students conducted a citizen science herring count and discussed how the fishes’ importance to our local environment. The group also stopped by the public boat ramp at Oldham Pond to see the strip of pervious pavement meant to capture dirty stormwater runoff before it enters the pond, a small way to help keep the water clean for local wildlife and usable for recreational purposes.
  • Scituate Schools – Students from Scituate went to Driftway Conservation Park on the North River. Students discussed estuaries, tides, and the different types of water found in these habitats. Students then conducted water sampling using salinity refractometers to measure the amount of salt in the river. Through this, the students can see how dynamic our local estuaries are, and how that relates to the local wildlife that call these areas home.
Students of Scituate became citizen scientists and used salinity refractometers to measure the salt content in the North River. Through this the students discovered how the changing of tides, temperature, depth, precipitation, and other factors lead to a very dynamic estuary ecosystem. These activities helped them understand how unique and important these natural resources are, and why we should preserve and protect the local waterways within our communities.

The NSRWA looks forward to next year as new schools, including Weymouth, are interested in having field trips as part of the program.

The Water All Around You program really helps students understand how they can help to keep their water clean and promote conservation. We are sure that the students will become much better stewards of our water after this program. Thank you to the WaterSmart towns for the funding that made this all possible!

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WaterSmart is a nonprofit partnership between the NSRWA and 12 towns on the South Shore: Cohasset, Duxbury, Hanover, Hingham, Hull, Kingston, Marshfield, Norwell, Pembroke, Rockland, Scituate and Weymouth. Our programs are based on the belief that education is key. Since its creation, WaterSmart has educated thousands of local school-age children, adults, and businesses on water conservation, stormwater pollution, where their water comes from, and how to care for it. For more information, please visit