Aug 27, 2009

WEF Committee to Host WEFTEC.09 Community Service Project

Students, young professionals and volunteers will replant and revitalize wetlands in Orlando

To promote environmental stewardship and leave a positive imprint on this year’s host city, the Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) Students and Young Professionals Committee (SYPC) has organized a community service project during WEFTEC.09 this October in Orlando.Scheduled for Oct. 10 from 8 to 11:30 a.m., the SYPC will replant and revitalize a portion of the wetlands at the Orange County Utilities Northwest Water Reclamation Facility (NWRF).Building on the success of its first community project at WEFTEC.08, the SYPC will work with conference attendees and volunteers to harvest plants from the facility’s established wetlands and replant them in uncultivated areas. In addition to expanding NWRF’s green space, participants will learn how wetlands are used to further remove nutrients from reclaimed water prior to recharging the local aquifer system.Traditionally viewed as a water-rich state, Florida has struggled with a three-year drought and increased demand on the area’s aquifer and groundwater supplies. Many local utilities adopted mandatory conservation measures and sustainable programs, including water reclamation and wetlands restoration, to ensure responsible natural resources management and environmental protection.This year’s wetlands project not only supports environmental stewardship on a local level, but also promotes WEF’s overall mission to preserve and enhance the global water environment. Last year’s SYPC community service project, “Getting Out of the Gutter,” left a rain garden at Pulaski Park in Chicago that uses native plants to help mitigate the city’s storm water runoff.