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CONTACT: Jennifer Sroka
PHONE: (313) 593-5644
DATE: April 28, 2005

(Advisory: Reporters are welcome to attend this event, but it is not open to the public.)

UM-Dearborn to host eighth annual Rouge River Water Festival May 5

DEARBORN---The University of Michigan-Dearborn and Wayne County's Department of Environment will welcome 3,000 fifth-grade students to the UM-Dearborn campus May 5 for the eighth annual Rouge River Water Festival, a free half-day environmental education event designed to help children learn about the importance of water to people and the environment.

Dorothy McLeer, program coordinator at the Environmental Interpretive Center, used a variation of the game of tag to teach a group of schoolchildren about bird migration during last year's Rouge River Water Festival.

Through interactive programs and exhibits, the students will learn about water use, pollution prevention, the hydrologic cycle and how water relates to recreation, wildlife, industry, fisheries, private businesses, public safety and environmental sustainability.

Representatives from local, state and federal government agencies, natural resource groups, universities, museums, media and businesses will serve as presenters and exhibitors at the Water Festival to reinforce the science curricula taught at elementary schools throughout the 48 communities located in the Rouge River watershed. Presentations will include topics on the birds of the Rouge River Watershed; pond study of ecosystems and animal/plant classifications; the Henry Ford Estate's waterscape; and the "Dirt Doctors" teaching soil erosion of the earth's surface and resources.

Reporters and photographers interested in attending the 2005 Rouge River Water Festival at UM-Dearborn on May 5 should contact biology Prof. Orin Gelderloos, director of UM-Dearborn's Environmental Interpretive Center, at (313) 593-5339.

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