On Saturday, March 22, 2014, over 350 Montgomery County residents celebrated World Water Day by attending the fourth annual H2O Summit hosted by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) at the Silver Spring Civic Building. The main goal of the H2O Summit is to raise awareness about water resource protection, stormwater pollution and connect residents with available volunteer opportunities in watershed protection.
The opening ceremony welcomed keynote speaker, Jacqueline Goodall, Mayor of Forest Heights, who inspired the audience to make a difference locally in their community.
This was followed by educational breakout seminars where members from five local watershed groups presented on topics like “Growing Support for Clean Water” and “Embracing our Watersheds.” Participants were also introduced to the various stream critters found throughout the County and how they are used to assess stream health by County staff. Dr. Dave Newburn and Amanda Rockler, University of Maryland, presented on their recent study of the Adoption of Household Stormwater Best Management Practices, in Howard County, MD.
Finally, new to this year’s event was a hands-on Rain Barrel Workshop available in both English and Spanish where residents were taught about constructing and installing a rain barrel. After the workshop, participants received a barrel through the DEP’s RainScapes program.
At 1pm, the afternoon festival portion kicked off in the great hall with live music and over 50 environmental exhibitors. Residents were able to participate in an environmental passport game and learn about each exhibitor, interact one-on-one and learn about how they can get involved locally. Afternoon educational mini tracks were also available for all ages showcasing topics like edible forests, frog identification, permaculture, and native gardens.
When asked, 97.3% of surveyed attendees stated they would definitely attend future H2O Summits. Overall the event was a success thanks to our partners:
Interested in seeing more of what happened at this year’s and past H2O Summits? Check our Flickr albums! Hope to see you next year!