Center for Creative Energy


Filtration Ponds a big hit in Drought Cities by Joe Navarro

San Diego, California and San Angelo, Texas are alike in certain ways.  For example, the San Diego Safari Park has filtration ponds just like the ones we have behind the Museum of Fine Arts.  Filtration ponds uses plants to absorb bacteria and nutrients out of the water.  When bacteria and nutrinets are left in the water, algae grows taking oxygen from the water. When the algae dies, the decomposers eat it and then reproduce.  They take even more oxygen from the water until finally water creatures start dying.  Grants funded the building of the filtration ponds at the Safari Park.  These ponds helped move water creatures around the pond system.  The water got cleaner by using the filtration ponds.  The old system sent the water to the top of a hill and as it slid down the bacteria and nutrients got trapped in the ground plants.   Way to go San Diego for improving your water quality!  They also have two mini reserviors where the water is saved just like our three reserviors; Twin Buttes, O.C. Fisher, and Lake Nasworthy.  Creatures live in and around the reserviors year around such as pelicans and deer.  The city of San Diego has the San Diego River running through it just like San Angelo has the Concho River running through it.  They’re even going through a drought, like us, and they have to conserve their precious natural

This filtration pond helps to keep the water clean from bacteria and nutrients.

resource…water.  For more information on how to conserve water tune in for more Aqua Squad updates.

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Bring the River Back!

This is Julia, Dakota and Diamond. Today we followed the San Diego River with Richard from the River Park Foundation. We started at Missions Trails Park and learned about riparian habitats, which are the plants and animals that live by the river. We also saw a really cool snake at the visitors center, his name was Curtis. We learned that the native sage and buckwheat are important to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Next Richard told us about the Old Mission Dam, which was finished in 1816. Walking across the dam made us feel like we were going through time when Indians worked hard to get this built for the mission. Next we visited some community preserves with nature trails and native plants.  Richard told us to engage the community because when the community cares, change happens! And this is how we can bring the river back. This inspired us to think about our own Concho River this way.

Lastly we ended at the dog beach at Ocean Beach where the river meets the ocean. Can you believe that only 5% of the coastal wetlands remain? They serve as nurseries for many fish, insects, and native plants. They also have endangered plant species such as the Birds Beak… which feels like a cotton swab but looks like needles!

Following the San Diego River made us realize that we can make saving the river a really cool thing to do.

To top off our day we played at La Jolla Beach the rest of the day.  This was definitely different than West Texas! 

 

A man on the Old Mission Dam. This was built in 1816!

 

 

Julia was attacked from above by this owl! (Just kidding, it was in the Visitor’s Center)

Here is a patch of Birds Beak on the dunes where the river meets the ocean…an endangered plant!

At La Jolla Beach. Andreas likes jumping rope with sea weed!

We buried Diamond. (she deserved it!)


California Comparison: Water Here and There

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San Angelo filtration ponds


ZOO in One!

That means 2 in one at the San Diego Zoo because saving species also means saving their habitats. WATER is in every habitat.

This is John, Henry, and Andreas and were going to let you know what we experienced at the San Diego Zoo.

After leaving the Museum of Photographic Arts we headed to the  San Diego Zoo where we met Judi who told us a little about the Zoo and took us to our private tour with Wendy. Wendy took us to look at all the animals and even let us feed the camels.  One big highlight of the day was meeting Doug Myers, Director of the San Diego Zoo. We were struck by how much he cared about not just the zoo but also the environment. It was cool to find out how much we had in common.

We saw pandas! Zoo staff think that Yanzi may be pregnant!

This is a picture of an awesome a polar bear that we saw on our private tour. This photo was taken by Andreas.

We had a great time, learned a lot, and even got to share our water conservation ideas with a goofy zebra named Robert. Check it out!


On the Hunt for Great Photographs

Hi there! This is Kirstin and Ashley here to tell you about our visit to the Museum of Photographic Arts. While there we got lots of ideas about how to use photography to communicate our message about water conservation.

We took a photographic scavenger hunt around Balboa Park to practice techniques to improve our photographs. Below are some of the best photos from our hunt.

A Worm’s Eye View

Taking a photo from a worm’s eye view gives the audience the feeling that something is bigger and more important than the viewer.

A Bird’s Eye View

A bird’s eye view makes people feel as if they are larger and more important than what the photograph portrays.

The Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is when you move the camera so the subject is off center by either 1 or 2 thirds. This helps the audience focus on one subject while also showing how the background ties to the main subject of the photo.

Line & Shape

This photo uses line and shape to help lead your eye around the composition.

Each of these techniques enhances our ability to communicate successfully through photography. This is definitely going to help us make Crisis in the Cocho (our photography exhibit opening in October) a great show!

Our new friend James showing us how to print our photos in MOPA’s amazing library.

So if you are ever in San Diego we would definitely recommend going to the Museum of Photographic Arts. And thank you to James for being a wonderful tour guide!

 


Saving the Sailing Seas with Exhibit Design

Think these are real surgeons? Nope! They are just wax figures showing what life was like on the USS Midway.

Welcome aboard the USS Midway Museum! This is Gillian and Joe here to tell you about some of the cool things we saw there.

The above picture taken by Gillian is one of the many good examples of how this museum showed what life was like on the USS Midway.There was also an audio tour which gave facts and details about rooms and areas in the carrier. It was like listening to a book about the ship. Each number on the tour was another chapter in the story.We found out the aircraft carrier didn’t just float on water, but it had to use water to run. Here is a good site to see pictures of the USS Midway’s boiler room. http://www.midwaysailor.com/frankday/engineroom.html

The museum also had hands-on activities. We really liked the station where you had to figure out how to use the ship’s energy in the best way. This taught us that not everything is important and you must have your priorities straight to complete your mission. As members of Aqua Squad our mission is to educate the public about water issues–especially how to conserve and save it. And we will not stop fighting until we complete our mission! Hopefully our photo exhibit will be as organized as the exhibits at the USS Midway…


Grass Clippings… The Real Story…

When is maintaining our lawns bad for our river?  Believe it or not yard clippings such as grass and leaves are harmful to the environment.  When grass is cut and blown into the street rains wash them into waterways such as rivers, lakes, and ponds.  After that, the river’s decomposers eat and grow, stealing more and more oxygen from the river which eventually leads to the ecosystem’s fall.

You can help by;

DOING this:

And NOT that:

  • Blow grass clippings onto the street
  •  Burn them
  • Throw them away in a plastic bag

Testing…testing..

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Click the picture to learn more about buffalo grass.

 

This is a test post for Aqua Squad. We’re learning how to blog, so expect some new content soon!



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