Our School Wetland
We have a wetland area on our school campus. It is a swamp; a cypress swamp to be more exact. We are located in the northeastern corner of North Carolina (36o 12.26m N lat., 76o 10.14m W long.). We are approximately 50 miles from the coast. There are many wetlands in our area, including the famous Dismal Swamp. The wetland area on our campus is part of Griffin Swamp. We are concerned for our little piece of this wetland because it is totally cut off from the main swamp. It is separated on two sides by farmland, one side by the school grounds and on the other side by a road. There is no in-flow or out-flow into the rest of Griffin Swamp. We think there needs to be a drain area under the road.
We spend a lot of time
in the wetland recording observations and testing the water. We take water samples on a
weekly basis and test pH, nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, water clarity, and dissolved
oxygen. We also keep track of weather conditions to look for any possible correlation. We
have found the water quality to remain fairly constant throughout the seasons except in
the early spring. The dissolved oxygen level drops in the spring when we have a huge algae
bloom. In March almost all of the water becomes covered with blanket algae. As other
plants begin to grow the algae slowly disappears and the oxygen level returns to normal.
This is also the season when the water level is the highest.