June 03, 2020
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Hermon High School JROTC battalion canoes Penobscot River

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Tayler Magliozzi | BDN
Tayler Magliozzi | BDN

The calm shores and low tide of the Penobscot River on the morning of October 5th meant one thing for the Hermon High School JROTC battalion; cadets were able to be lead on canoes by the Penobscot River Keepers down the length of the water. Students of the program traveled with volunteers from the non-profit organization to the Bangor and Brewer Sewage Water Treatment Plants. These locations were chosen to enrich the education of students in a hands-on manner in the heart of the community.
Docking at the sewage treatment plants, the cadets toured the facilities and were informed about the purpose behind each facility, the responsibilities of the employees, and the job of each machine. Cadets also learned about the Clean Water Act that helped put regulations in place to clean up the Penobscot River and bodies of water nationwide. Before the act, the Penobscot River was the fifth most polluted river in the country. Now, it is clean enough to see to the bottom of the riverbed from the viewpoint of the canoes. “At the Bangor Treatment Plant, our mission is to take in wastewater from Bangor, Hampden, and Hermon, and we take that wastewater and treat it using methods called primary and secondary treatment.The water we treat that is discharged to the river is significantly cleaner than the water when it arrives and is cleaner than the river itself,” stated tour leader and instrument technician Keefe Cyr.
The Hermon High School JROTC Battalion will continue to participate in tours with the Penobscot River Keepers for years to come.