Lakeview Learns About Winona Lake Chemical Spill

Lakeview students (left to right) Gismely, Evelyn and Alejandra enjoy the opportunity to feed fish like those found in local Indiana lakes.

Lakeview students (left to right) Gismely, Evelyn and Alejandra enjoy the opportunity to feed fish like those found in local Indiana lakes.

By MADISSON HEINL
Grace College and Seminary

Center for Lakes & Streams staff visited Lakeview Middle School Friday, March 13, to speak to students about the recent Warsaw Chemical Co., Inc. spill.

Students in classes at Lakeview Middle School study and learn about local lakes through the Center for Lakes & Streams program that provides sponsored aquariums to local classrooms and organizations. The aquarium in one classroom is sponsored by the Winona Lake Preservation Association and exhibits native fish and plant species like those found in local Indiana lakes.

Over 325,000 gallons of water were used to put out the Warsaw Chemical Co. fire. Much of this fire flow water carried chemicals, such as perfumes, dyes and surfactants, into Winona Lake. While these chemicals have not yet yielded an observable adverse effect on Winona Lake wildlife, the incident is a reminder that the Winona Lake community must consider best practices to prevent this from happening in the future.

Staff members Madisson Heinl and Caitlin Yoder spoke to the students about the value of everyday actions and how these actions have either a positive or negative effect on local waterways. During the presentation, students learned that, while they do not use nearly 325,000 gallons of water each day, their daily choices can impact local waterways in other small ways.

The Center for Lakes & Streams collected samples following the Winona Lake chemical spill. The samples are being analyzed for their impact on Winona Lake, the community and the surrounding wildlife.

Sponsored aquariums are installed in classrooms and organizations around Kosciusko County by the Center for Lakes & Streams. Most recently, an aquarium sponsored by the Hand Family Foundation was installed in Mentone Elementary School, stretching the program to be countywide. These aquariums assist students in learning the importance of making wise choices concerning our local waterways.

The Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College conducts applicable research, engages and educates residents, and collaborates with other organizations in efforts to make the lakes and streams of Kosciusko County cleaner. For more information or to support their efforts, visit lakes.grace.edu.

Lakeview students Sarah (right) and Jessica (left) feed the native fish that live in the aquarium in their classroom.

Lakeview students Sarah (right) and Jessica (left) feed the native fish that live in the aquarium in their classroom.

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