Oil Spill - The Rest of the Story

Estuary background image with color overlay


In this activity, students exhibit their understanding of how nonpoint-source water pollution enters the estuaries via the watershed by building a watershed model and using it to explore surface runoff. By playing water quality limbo, they demonstrate an understanding of best management practices and how these practices help keep water clean. Finally, students brainstorm possible ways that their community could limit or prevent nonpoint-source water pollution in the estuaries.

This activity has three parts:

  1. Watershed in a Box
  2. Water Quality Limbo
  3. Say No to Nonpoint Source Pollution

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Students should understand that:

  • A watershed or drainage basin is an area of land that delivers water run-off, sediment, and dissolved substances to surface water bodies such as rivers, lakes, or oceans.
  • Non-point source water pollution moves through a watershed and accumulates in lakes, oceans, and estuaries.
  • Polluted runoff can be prevented from getting into waterways.
  • Water quality standards are levels of required cleanness that are set by State and Federal agencies to ensure people‚Äôs health and give guidance to maintaining the health of waterways.

Oil Spill - The Rest of the Story: Supporting Resources

Deepwater Horizon


Watershed Demo