Student bug hunts help Wayne County track water quality - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

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>>

  • Power outage numbers across southeast Michigan

    Power outage numbers across southeast Michigan

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:01 AM EDT2014-07-28 14:01:04 GMT
    As of 6 a.m., approximately 165,000 DTE Energy customers are out of electric service due to the high winds and lightning that hit southeast Michigan Sunday afternoon. DTE has restored power to 21,000 customers that were affected by the storm, which included wind gusts of up to 70 m.p.h. in the DTE service area.
    As of 6 a.m., approximately 165,000 DTE Energy customers are out of electric service due to the high winds and lightning that hit southeast Michigan Sunday afternoon. DTE has restored power to 21,000 customers that were affected by the storm, which included wind gusts of up to 70 m.p.h. in the DTE service area.
  • Dollar Tree buys Family Dollar

    Dollar Tree buys Family Dollar

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:34 AM EDT2014-07-28 11:34:12 GMT
    Dollar Tree is buying rival discount store Family Dollar in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $8.5 billion.
    Dollar Tree is buying rival discount store Family Dollar in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $8.5 billion.
  • Storm damage in Oakland and Macomb counties

    Storm damage in Oakland and Macomb counties

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:27 AM EDT2014-07-28 10:27:31 GMT
    Damage was reported across Metro Detroit Sunday after severe storms moved across our area. About 200,000 customers lost power in the hail, heavy rain, strong winds, localized flooding and thunder and lightning.
    Damage was reported across Metro Detroit Sunday after severe storms moved across our area. About 200,000 customers lost power in the hail, heavy rain, strong winds, localized flooding and thunder and lightning.
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

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