CARLSBAD — Carlsbad’s Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation recently hosted its fourth annual World Water Day Festival to bring awareness to water issues locally and globally.
In accordance with International World Water Day, the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center was transformed into the annual family-oriented water festival on March 20.
The festival was designed “to bring awareness to the water problems of the world,” said Nikki Weaver, director of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center “They seem to be the biggest (problems) that we face.”
Informative displays and hands-on exhibits taught kids of all ages — and their parents — about the dangers of pollution and importance of conserving water. Issues facing local wildlife and ecosystems were also highlighted through various means, including crafts and movies played throughout the event.
An exhibit hosted by the Encina Wastewater District detailed the life cycle of wastewater as it travels out of homes and toward the ocean. Another display allowed children to “bulldoze” a forest to make room for a grocery store, only to learn that the construction would displace and negatively affect various species of wildlife.
While some of the displays offered stories and information that has become common knowledge, others highlighted issues that have recently been brought to the attention of water conservationists.
A floating “island” of trash in the Pacific Ocean has recently been found and families were able to learn about it at the festival. “The whole world is becoming one big plastic water bottle,” said Weaver, while noting that much of the trash island is comprised of bottles that weren’t recycled.
“Who knew? I had no idea,” said Vista resident Kay Peterson after learning about the garbage patch. She brought her children Randy, 7, and Katie, 9, to the event “to make them more aware of taking care of the environment, and not polluting the waterways.”
Weaver said that the Discovery Center in Carlsbad was the ideal place to host the event, as San Diego County is at the forefront of moving toward water and ecosystem conservation measures. The future desalination plant in Carlsbad will boost the local water supply and local fish hatcheries are working towards replenishing the fish population.
To learn more about the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center and the World Water Day Festival, visit www.aguahedionda.org.