EPA launches new partnership with broadcast meteorologists

Nov. 20, 2003
The Chief Meteorologist at a TV station in Philadelphia unveiled last week the station's new Watershed Project web site.

Nov. 20, 2003 -- Kathy Orr, Chief Meteorologist at KYW-TV (CBS) in Philadelphia, unveiled last week the station's new Watershed Project web site, http://kyw.iewatershed.com, which was developed in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region III, the Philadelphia Water Department, the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation (NEETF), the US Forest Service, and StormCenter Communications.

This site is an adaptation of "Where the Atmosphere Meets the Earth," a featured site on WRC-TV's (NBC4) popular WeatherNet4 web site in Washington, D.C., first piloted by NBC-4's Chief Meteorologist Bob Ryan. Kathy plans to do weekly features on the Delaware River and Bay for her viewing audience of 7.3 million. As with the NBC4 site, the web site boasts an impressive "learning center" (left side bar) that offers information about watersheds, coasts and forest subjects.

Since last year, WRC-TV's weather team in Washington, D.C. has done more than 20 watershed feature stories - covering topics such as polluted runoff, erosion, and World Water Monitoring Day. Over 1.8 million TV viewers in the DC metropolitan area have clicked on "Where the Atmosphere Meets the Earth," http://www.watershed.interactive-environment.com.

The NBC-4 site has had over 150,000 unique visitors, staying on average about 7 minutes to review content. New features include real-time Water Quality Data taken from 11 Maryland Department of Natural Resources' monitoring stations within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) is also a partner in this innovative effort to bring more environmental information to the American public. AMS is working to train broadcast meteorologists to become the "station scientist."

As part of their continuing education programs, AMS is working with NEETF, EPA and others to develop environmental curriculum so that broadcast meteorologists will have the necessary tools and information to educate their viewers about weather, water quality, and related environmental issues.