Thursday was River Rat Day at Bowling Green State University where students showed off their water knowledge.
News 11's Dick Berry of the Wood County Levis Commons bureau has details in this EcoTrack 11 report.
The Portage River meanders through northwest Ohio passing through farmland and near factories.
Sometimes it floods, but most of the time it's a quiet beauty to the area.
Kids from four area schools, like Woodmore, have been out taking water samples from the Portage.
They're sharing results with one another and encouraged by teachers to become more environmentally aware.
Teacher Ken Green tells News 11, "I want them to get an appreciation from the impact we have on the river and the river has on us."
Kids at Eastwood Middle School wondered if flooding effects the Portage River. It does. Student Skylar Eierker says, "The flood picks up sediments and pesticides from the fields and brings it back into the river, which can harm fish and plant life."
The Oak Harbor students studied the Portage near a plant to check for phosphates and nitrates. Student Brittany Brough says, "It was excellent. We're up on the top part of the Portage River, so everything is clear and looks clean."
Students at Lakota Middle School were assigned to study the Sugar Creek Tributary of the Portage. They've come away with a better understanding of the environment. Student Abby Wasserman explains, "Because if you don't study it, we might not know how to stop the pollution. And that would be bad."
That's because these River Rats want everybody to work together to keep the Portage River clean.
Awards were also handed out for the best presentations.
Students also toured the greenhouse and marine biology lab at BGSU.
It's an annual event and they'll do it again next year.