The Clinch River Watershed is one of the most biodiverse river systems in North America, home to a staggering variety of aquatic life and even endangered mussels. But its water faces many obstacles to staying clean enough to maintain this diversity, including sediment and runoff from coal and agricultural operations. The Wetlands Esonoa Outdoor Learning Center, a long-running student-driven project overseen by Castlewood High School teacher Terry Vencil, has transformed an old lake full of trash into a pristine and functioning wetland that filters runoff before it reaches the river. The wetland also serves as an indoor and outdoor classroom where Ms. Vencil’s students meet four days a week. WMMT’s Parker Hobson reports on this project has helped build environmental awareness, confidence, and learning skills among local students since 1999.
July 23, 2014