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The perfect, locally-made app to help educate kids about stormwater runoff

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – On Earth Day, three local organizations launched an online game to promote awareness of the environmental impact from stormwater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay.

History moves throughout the 348-mile James River, and cuts through the city of Richmond with such prominence that it was nicknamed the River City. The James — along with 10 other large rivers — flows into the Chesapeake Bay, another important body of water that feeds history, livelihoods, and recreation.

The bay was identified as a dead zone in the 1970s, a place where waters were so depleted of oxygen that they were unable to support life, resulting in massive fish kills.

Fast forward 40 years and you have major efforts set forth to incorporate individuals, organizations, businesses and governments into the effort of saving the bay.

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is one organization working to inspire local action and stewardship that benefits the land, water and residents of the bay.  They teamed up with engineers in the Timmons Group and developers SRRN Games to design “Stormwater Sentries.”

The game was designed to demonstrate how citizen decisions made on private property can affect local stream health. Players take on challenges, complete missions, earn money and work to create a sustainable town designed to reduce stormwater runoff.

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay hopes that through an engaging experience, the community will understand that wiser environmental decisions can improve water quality in nearby streams, rivers, and thebay.

That is illustrated by some of the tasks in the game: cleaning up oil spills as they happen in the driveway, picking up dog feces and raking leaves, instead of allowing the materials to enter the water and create deadly imbalances. That’s just Level One.

The in-game currency also players to earn coins as they complete tasks, and the coins are used to purchase certain things to help complete more tasks at each level.

It’s designed to be a fun, educational simulation that also has social networking components.

The kids can have a good time while learning important lessons. Could also be great teaching moment when enroute to the river for the day, or to the beach for summer vacation. Not only will kids be occupied, they will get to see the very body of water they are working to save.

The game is available on Facebook, here at Stormwater Sentries.

2 comments

  • Vasu Murti

    From PETA:

    Would you ever open your refrigerator, pull out sixteen plates of pasta, toss fifteen in the trash, and then eat just one plate of food? How about level five square meters of rain forest for a single meal? That sounds ludicrous, right? But if you’re eating chickens, fish, pigs, cows, eggs, or dairy products, that’s what you’re doing: wasting resources and destroying our environment.

    According to the United Nations, raising animals for food (including land used for grazing and land used to grow feed crops) now uses a staggering 30 percent of the Earth’s land mass. A vegan diet requires 1,100 liters of water per day to produce, while a meat-based diet requires more than 15,000 liters per day. That means that it takes the equivalent of 50 bathtubs of water to produce just one steak.

    And we haven’t even gotten into the staggering 51 percent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions that are caused by animal agriculture, according to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute!

    But we do have some good news: Science shows that going vegan is one of the most effective ways to fight climate change as well as one of the most powerful steps that you can take to make your life greener and healthier. It alleviates pressure on the world’s precious resources, helps tackle climate change and world hunger, and radically decreases your own risk of developing life-threatening diseases. And don’t forget that it saves the lives of animals, too!

    So in honor of Earth Day, please take the vegan pledge to save the Earth.

  • Vasu Murti

    “It’s April 22nd and everybody knows today is Earth Day
    “Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday to whoever’s being born
    “And now I’m trying hard to think of something
    “meaningful and worthy, kind of earthy
    “to make everybody ask themselves just

    “What are we doing here?
    “and what are we doing to her?

    “I don’t know
    “What are we gonna do?
    “What are we gonna do?
    “What are we gonna do?

    “2041, the world is gonna end, I’ve got the message
    “from a tiny little man who only said that he’d been sent
    “I’m not a protest singer, I can’t write a song to send a message
    “but it seems to me that this message needed to be sent

    “What are we doing here?
    “And what are we doing to her?

    “I don’t know
    “What are we gonna do?
    “What are we gonna do?
    “What are we gonna do?

    “It’s April 21st and everybody knows today is Earth Day
    “Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday to whoever’s being …

    –Dramarama, “What Are We Gonna Do?” (1991)

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