Fieldwork with Friends of the Chicago River


PCA 5th and 6th graders traveled to the North Branch of the Chicago River at West River Park.  They conducted water quality tests on the water that included temperature, pH level, turbidity level, phosphate level, nitrate level, and fecal coliform bacteria levels.  They also got in the river to collect samples of macro-invertebrates (organisms without backbones) using special nets.  By identifying which types of macro-invertebrates are in the Chicago River, PCA students can get further information about the water quality (certain macros are intolerant to pollution, certain macros don’t mind a little pollution, and others are tolerant of water pollution.)