Hidden Oaks Middle School in Stuart Florida is a school who has residents that live along the St. Lucie River. Some research states that algae from Lake Okeechobee dumps are causing problems in the lagoon and some are stating that septic system failures in the watershed are creating a food source for the algae creating a toxic megabloom.
Students from Oxbridge Academy’s (https://www.oapb.org/) Field Research Class and Quantitative and Qualitative Research class are working with middle school students from hidden Oaks Middle to help them test their private well waters for nitrates. Additional samples are taken to the BioTools Laboratory in the Jupiter area to test for sucralose, a marker for human feces. Students will be able to learn about water quality issues in their area, if their waters are compromised, and ways they might be able to protect their source waters. AnOxbridge student will be mapping the fate and transport of the quantified sucralose levels in a GIS program and presenting his results at the AWRA Conference in Oregon November 2017.