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Courtesy photo.




All the Water in the World

Where: Amoskeag Fishways, 4 Fletcher St., Manchester
When: Saturday, Aug. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon
Cost: Free; registration requested by calling 626-3474




Water power
Amoskeag Fishways hosts family event

08/24/17
By Ethan Hogan



 Learn about the life span of a single drop of water and how it travels miles and miles to get to your backyard during “All the Water in the World,” happening Saturday, Aug. 26, at Amoskeag Fishways in Manchester.

Holly Groh, a Teacher Program Naturalist at Amoskeag Fishways, said the program will teach children and adults about the importance of water in Manchester and southern New Hampshire. 
Groh said the energy generated by the rushing water in the Merrimack river is essential to the city’s electrical needs. The hydro plant (owned by Eversource, which helps fund the Fishways, along with the New Hampshire Audubon, New Hampshire Fish & Game and U.S. Fish & Wildlife) creates 16 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about half the homes and businesses in Manchester, according to Groh.
At the event, there will be an activity that will show the molecular properties of the water that powers the plant.
There will also be an activity where guests will learn about the ecosystems the water interacts with before ending up in the river and about the lifecycle of a single drop of water. 
A water conservation brainstorming activity will teach guests about the importance of conserving water and what steps they can take to reduce water usage at home.
“The classic example is turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth,” said Groh.
The lessons are taught using Amoskeag Fishways’ KIND methodology, which Groh said teaches people to understand and respect the natural world around them.
“It’s a starting point and we are sending out ripples,” said Groh.
The Merrimack River is home to many fish, reptiles and plants that can be harmed by human intervention, according to Groh. The dam was built in the 1800s near the Amoskeag area of the river for industrial manufacturing mills. “Amoskeag” is a word used by the Penacook Native Americans who inhabited the area 400 years ago that means a place of many fish, according to Groh.
The presence of the dam greatly reduced the population of fish in the area because many of the fish were anadromous, meaning they feed in the Atlantic Ocean and migrate up freshwater rivers to spawn.
“We don’t see as many fish today as we did 400 years ago, but we still see several species of fish that are coming up from the Atlantic Ocean,” said Groh.
Now the 47-foot-high dam has a fish ladder, or series of low-water steps, that lets the fish climb upstream, which is on display at Amoskeag Fishways. 
The Fishways’ other exhibits will be open throughout the day and will let people see live turtles, frogs and salmon. Groh said the facility’s crowning jewel is the Timber Rattlesnake, an endangered species native to southern New Hampshire.
Groh recommends the event for ages 7 and up. Those interested in attending should register in advance. She also noted that there’s a chance anyone doing the interactive activities might not stay dry.
“You can’t have a water event in August without getting a little wet,” said Groh.





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