Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP) – Monthly Update
This month’s newsletter focuses on the Long Island Regional Planning Council’s Long Island Water Quality STEAM Challenge
The Long Island Regional Planning Council awards three schools $2500 grants to implement projects to tackle nitrogen pollution on school grounds.
The Long Island Water Quality Challenge promotes project-based learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) in Long Island schools and helps students in grades 6-12 develop a greater understanding of how their classroom curriculum can be applied to protecting Long Island’s crucial water resources – with a specific focus on reducing or eliminating nitrogen pollution. The competition also connects students, teachers and their communities to the overall LINAP initiative.
This year, schools chose from one of two categories to examine. The first is “Low-Input Landscaping on School Grounds,” in which students were asked to identify ways to reduce the use of fertilizers, pesticides and overwatering by choosing different landscape designs and plant varieties. The second is “Stormwater Treatment on School Grounds,” in which students were asked to design projects to collect and/or treat runoff on their school grounds to help reduce pollutants.
A panel of experts from the Department of Environmental Conservation, the South Shore Estuary Reserve, Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District and the LIRPC evaluated the teams on quality of ideas, effectiveness, feasibility, visual design, technical merit and how well it addressed LINAP and the impacts of nitrogen pollution.
The 2022 STEAM Challenge winning proposals came from Half Hollow Hills West High School, Herricks High School and Jericho High School! These innovative proposals included the construction of a roof garden and rain garden, the use of rain barrels, planting denitrifying flower beds and the development of a composting program for fertilizer and educational purposes.
Herrick High School will be planting denitrifying flower beds on three separate areas on school grounds. The gardens will serve as a “classroom” to educate students and the community about nitrogen pollution and the benefits of denitrifying plants. (Photo credit: Herrick High School)
Jericho High School’s proposal included the installation of a roof garden, a rain garden, rain barrels and a composting program. (Photo Credit: Jericho High School)
Half Hollow Hills West proposes the use of seed bombs to plant a rain garden for nitrogen pollution mitigation and stormwater management. (Photo Credit: Half Hallow Hills West)
Each of the teams from these schools will receive $2500 to implement their proposals. The teams are in the process of developing their designs, budgets, maintenance plans for the project and plans for how the projects will be incorporated into lesson plans and engagement with the larger community. Once the plans are approved, the grants will be awarded.
The 2023 STEAM Challenge will be launched in the fall with additional grants to be awarded!
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