By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman William Blees, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest
BREMERTON, Wash. – Hundreds of students from select classes throughout Kitsap County participated in the 20th annual Kitsap Water Festival (KWF), April 15.
Civilian and military environmental and natural resource professionals teamed up to display exhibits detailing information regarding local watersheds, pollution prevention, hydrologic cycle, and water conservation.
“I appreciate that the students can learn from a wealth of community information,” said Ilse de Groen, 3rd grade teacher at Suquamish Elementary School. “They are learning to preserve and keep it [water] clean for future generations.”
KWF is held to teach our youth about the most precious resource on the planet, water. By promoting the importance of water to children, we are helping future generations become aware of the implications that could occur if this natural resource is not taken care of.
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard took part in the festival with a submarine display featuring how a dry-dock works. The miniature model was complete with fully operational water pumps and caisson, allowing the students a hands-on opportunity to dry-dock a submarine themselves.
“I think it’s great students come out to learn about water,” said Steve Mastel, marine electrician and co-lead of the Navy Science Technology Electronics Mathematics (STEM) program outreach. “Protecting water will be very beneficial for the future of humanity.”
Navy Divers assigned to Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Keyport, hosted one of the more popular exhibits at KWF. They featured a dunk tank where students could play tic-tac-toe with a diver while submerged.
“It’s important to have interaction with the community and show that we care about education,” said Navy Diver 3rd Class Brannon Starnes, assigned to NUWC Keyport. “It’s important that we reach out.”
KWF goals, as listed on http://www.kitsapgov.com, include increasing awareness of the importance of water and natural resource issues, teaching children the importance of clean water, allowing children to see the causes and effects of pollution, encourage children and their families to be good stewards of the environment, give the community an opportunity to directly participate in the education of our youth.