Water quality affects everyone, yet our water resources can be impaired by contamination and runoff due to industry, a heavy population density, and a myriad of land and water uses. At stake are safe drinking water, clean beaches, and uncontaminated aquatic ecosystems. With many threats to water quality, IISG tackles the issue from a variety of fronts, including education.

Through K-16 education opportunities—both in and out of the classroom, students can learn how problems with water quality affect the environment and people’s lives. IISG has identified data-rich, interactive classroom activities and background resources to enhance students’ understanding of essential water quality issues.


Education Initiatives

Water Quality Workshop on S/V Denis Sullivan Schooner
Teachers will experience the Great Lakes directly on this world-class Schooner, the Denis Sullivan and receive hands-on training from Center for Great Lakes Literacy staff, with water quality monitoring equipment used by scientists (available for loan to educators during the school year). In addition to learning about field trip opportunities in the Lake Michigan watershed, teachers will  receive free Great Lakes resources for their classrooms and earn a stipend for implementing a stewardship project in the classroom.


Greatest of the Great Lakes--Classroom Activity Collection

How Big is a Crowd?
How Does Stratification Affect Water Quality?
Beach Mysteries
Where Do all the Toxins Go?
Which Fish Can We Eat?

Water Information and Concerns Fact Sheet Series

Swimming in Clean Water
Drinking Water Supplies
Dissolved Oxygen
Defining Water Quality
Water Clarity
Drinking Water: Disinfection with Chlorine
Water Taste and Odor Problems
Understanding Why Some Organic Contaminants Pose a Health Risk
Understanding Contaminated Sediments Bioavailability of Contamination

Planning with POWER

Protecting Our Water and Environmental Resources
Nonpoint Source Pollution: A Threat to our Waters
Strategies to Minimize Polluted Runoff
Relationship between Land Use Decision and Impacts on our Water and Natural Resources
Stormwater and Non-point Source Pollution
Stormwater Runoff

Web Links

COSEE Great Lake Curriculum
Project FLOW Activity: What Makes Water Healthy?
The BRIDGE, NOAA, and NMEA: Water Pollution Lesson Plans
Indiana Department of Environmental Management: Lesson Plan on Water (grades K-8)
Illinois Department of Natural Resources: Aquatic Illinois
indiana Department of Natural Resources Education Center: Water Quality Trunks
Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Environmental Education Resources


Terri Hallesy
Education Coordinator

Leslie Dorworth
Aquatic Ecology Specialist

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
Purdue University
195 Marsteller Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2033
University of Illinois Extensio
Sea Grant
Purdue University