Have you ever seen a sign near a storm drain that says "No Dumping - Drains to Ocean"? If you live inland, you might have seen one that says Drains to River, Lake, Bay, or Waterway. All of these are messages about the same thing—anything washed or dumped into the drain will be transported downstream and has the potential to pollute local waterways and the larger water bodies they connect to. For example, pollution carried down the Mississippi from Midwestern farms has created a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico the size of Massachusetts where fish and plants have to fight for survival.
In these lessons, you'll learn how to find the area that drains to a storm drain and the route that pollutants will take if they are dumped or washed into the drain. You'll find the upstream drainage area, called a watershed, for a storm drain near Blackman Elementary School in Tennessee. Then you'll find the downstream flow path to where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Knowing how to find these, you can experiment to find the watersheds and flow paths from other storm drain locations.
|Explore the issue||Find out about stormwater pollution and set expectations for the analyses.||5 minutes|
|Create a layer for the storm drain||Create a layer with a point at the storm drain location.||10 minutes|
|Create watersheds for the storm drain||Create watersheds for the storm drain to see the area that contributes water to the system.||10 minutes|
|Find the downstream flow path from the storm drain||Create a downstream trace to see how the storm water will be routed to the ocean.||10 minutes|
|Share your map with others||Learn how to share your web map with others.||10 minutes|