Lakeshore News Tonight

Valparaiso University Students Clean Up River

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A group of local college students is working to improve the health of the region’s rivers. The Lakeshore’s Sarah Holst tells us how the Valparaiso University biology club is using hands-on learning to impact their community….

Valparaiso University students are trading in the typical college apparel for waders and work gloves in an effort to improve local waterways.  A recent restoration project at the Elkhart Conservation Club was documented by the university.

Grayson Davis: The overall plan is to narrow the stream. Over time an Indiana river typically gets wider and more shallow. As it does, the water gets warm, and creates low oxygen levels, which is bad for fish.

Professor Grayson Davis leads Valparaiso University’s biology club… which has participated in over 50 restoration projects since 1999. Student volunteers remove debris and perform monitoring and maintanence along the rivers. The group recently received two federal grants from the Lake Michigan Coastal Program to continue their work with rivers in Indiana and Michigan.

Helena Hopkins: I’m involved with a research project which deals with macro invertebrates, so it’s interesting to learn about the river dynamics and how the river flows and affects habitats for what grows in the river.

David Goad: We’re always in lectures or labs, so it’s nice to come outside and work with our hands and see biology and nature in the real world.

For more information on upcoming river restoration projects, visit the university’s website at and search biology club.  Sarah Holst, Lakeshore News.


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