Awards Given By The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Chelsea N. Newberry
Region: Sebastian/Indian River
School: Sebastian River High School
Award: $1,000 Savings Bond
Project Title: A Naturally Elicited Crop Protection System
Teacher: Ms. Cheryl Domineau
Patrick L. Greer
Region: Wellington/Palm Beach
Category: Environmental Science
School: Wellington High School
Project Title: Phosphorus Removal from Everglades Agricultural Area
Farm Drainage Water
Teacher: Mrs. Charlsa A. Henderson
Project Synopsis: Phosphorous Removal By Chara Zeylanica and Eichhornia Crassipes from Everglades Agricultural Area Farm Drainage Water
In this experiment, the researcher will test the phosphorous removing capabilities of Eichhomia crassipes and Chara zeylanica. In the first phase of this experiment, the researcher intends to prove that Eichhomia crassipes is more effective at the removal of phosphorous from farm drainage water. In the second phase of this experiment, the researcher intends to prove that when additional Nitrogen is added to the farm drainage water containing Eichhomia crassipes and Chara zeylanica, Eichhomia crassipes will remove phosphorous more effectively than Chara zeylanica. Finally, in the third phase of this experiment, the researcher intends to prove that Eichhomia crassipes is more effective at removing phosphorous from flowing drainage water than from stagnant drainage water.
For one month, three of each of the two types of plant were placed into household buckets containing Everglades Agricultural Area farm drainage water. The phosphorous content in the water was measured weekly. After one month, the plants and sediment biomasses were tested for phosphorous content. The same procedures were followed for the second hypothesis, but a 1000ppm nitrogen solution was added to the buckets weekly.
To test the third hypothesis, Eichhomia crassipes plants were placed into a long plastic tray. Water was flowed through the tray and into a large tank. Water was constantly circulated across the tray, and back into the tank. Phosphorous analysis was conducted on the water daily.
To conclude, the researcher's first hypothesis was correct, and Eichhomia crassipes was more effective at the removal of phosphorous than Chara zeylanica. The second prediction was incorrect, and the researcher proved that nitrogen is not a limiting nutrient. The third and final hypothesis was correct. In a flow through situation, Eichhomia crassipes removed 58% more phosphorous than in a stagnant situation. To conlude, the researcher would recommend that Eichhomia crassipes be used in a flowing water scenario in the Everglades Agricultural Area to achieve maximum phosphorous removal.
Yahya M. Mohammed
Region: Niceville/East Panhandle
School: C.W. Ruckel Middle School
Award: $1,000 Savings Bond
Project Title: Pathogen-load in Fresh Seafood Naturally and
Organically: A Giant Leap for Seafood Safety
Teacher: Mr. Allen Anderson
Christine E. Johns
Region: Cape Coral/Thomas Alva Edison
School: Providence Christian School
Project Title: Watching Grass Grow: The Effect of Residential Reclaimed
Wastewater on the Growth Rate of St. Augustine Floritam Turf Grass
Teacher: Ms. Traci L. Carter
Project Synopsis: The purpose of this experiment was to see if watering St. Augustine Floritam turfgrass with water would make the Floritam grow faster than watering it with regular tap water. First, the researcher purchased 20 4.OL plastic containers and filled them with 3.5L of Cape Coral soil each. Second, she purchased 20 St. Augustine Floritam grass plugs and planted one in the center of each plastic container. The 20 experiment containers using a randomization table. Third, the control group was watered with 400 mL of reclaimed water per container twice a week for six weeks. The researcher then measured the horizontal growth once a week.
The St. Augustine Floritam grass plugs given tap water grew an average of 68.9 sq cm over the experiment period, while the grass plugs receiving reclaimed water grew an average of 92.6 cm. The Floritam grass plugs watered with reclaimed water grew an average of 23.7 sq cm more than the grass plugs receiving tap water during the experiment. This represents a 34.4% greater growth rate for St Augustine Floritam grass plugs watered with Cape Coral reclaimed water.
Reclaimed water will make St. Augustine Floritam grass grow faster compared to watering it with tap water. I believe that the higher level of nitrogen found in reclaimed water is teh reason for the faster growth rate in the Floritam grass plugs. Possible future research could be done using reclaimed water or even brackish water on the new seashore Paspalum turfgrasses.