FOSC Water Quality Committee volunteers have worked to create public awareness on the unseen impact of plastic pollution on humans and on waterways, including fresh waterways such as Sligo Creek. Dr. Jesse Meiller and Dr. Kathy Michaels discussed the issue at a February 2020 talk sponsored by FOSC.
Scientists are finding that microplastics are everywhere in our waterways, whether salt water or fresh waterways. Ongoing research shows that most microplastics are harmful to living creatures and plants life due to their chemical content which does not break down (known as “forever chemicals”.) Synthetic turf is one example of a product that leaches such chemicals as well as plastic bits ingested by wildlife. The impact of microplastics is an important issue in Montgomery County where it is proposed for a section of Ellsworth Drive in downtown Silver Spring. FOSC opposes the use of artificial turf on Ellsworth. – Read More –
Volunteers for the Water Quality committee are also running several ongoing programs to help preserve and plan for the health of Sligo Creek:
The FOSC Water Quality Committee is working to improve the water quality of Sligo Creek so that it will meet its potential as a natural and recreational resource. Wouldn’t it be great if the water in Sligo Creek were clean enough so that people could wade or swim in it without worry? While it is currently home to a surprising variety of wildlife, keeping the creek waters healthy for wildlife is an ongoing challenge as the region becomes more populated.
The Committee and FOSC’s members are working with local agencies and nonprofit organizations to meet the challenge, knowing that a healthier Sligo Creek both enhances our everyday lives and benefits the waters of the Anacostia Watershed, the Potomac River, and the Chesapeake Bay.
Are you interested in water quality activities?
Consider joining the Water Quality Committee!
The Water Quality Committee works on projects aimed at understanding and improving Sligo Creek’s water quality.
FOSC’s Chemical Water Quality Team regularly monitors seven sites along the Creek and its tributaries for ten different parameters, keeping track of the Creek’s water quality and the condition of its channel and surrounding habitats. Take a look at the Team’s summary findings in the sample FOSC Water Quality Monitoring Report in the right margin.
We also monitor macroinvertebrates for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Stream Waders program, the Izaak Walton League’s Save Our Streams program, and the Audubon Naturalist Society program.
We try to learn about and promote Sligo Creek monitoring being done by others, and when appropriate, use our findings to advocate for local, county and regional policy changes. Information about our activities is posted on the Friends of Sligo Creek newsletter and listserv. Join FOSC to receive the newsletter.
If you would like to join the committee, participate in Committee activities or have questions, please email Pat Ratkowski, Committee chairperson, at [email protected].
Coliform bacteria testing plate
The Sligo Creek Water Quality – Selected Bibiliography page contains further reading on Sligo Creek Water Quality.