AUSTIN (KXAN) - Children from an after-school program have uncovered a surprising find in the waters of the Colorado River. These young environmentalists say low oxygen levels could be harming the natural habitat.
Elisabeth Welsh recently led a dozen or more children from the Austin Youth River Watch program onto the edge of the Colorado River. Together they've been monitoring the water quality.
"We've been finding low dissolved oxygen levels," said Welsh, "and that's bad because if the oxygen levels gets below 4 milligrams per liter that means that the fish can actually get very stressed."
The teens say the summer program has opened up their eyes to a different world they've never seen before.
"I didn't know that algae photosynthesized" said Dezerae Espinoza of Travis High School," said Dezerae Espinoza, a senior from Travis High School.
"What's been most surprising to me is the different organisms, we see in the water like the fish and the insects, like I never knew that there was water bugs," said Keona Johnson, a student at Reagan High School.
These young environmentalists have already learned a big lesson, that it's more entertaining to be outdoors than sitting in a classroom and reading a book, but it's also more educational and rewarding.
Mentors hope the summer program will create an awareness of our environment for life, and we can all benefit from that.
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