The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, was in Portland Friday. She stopped by a school in Northeast to congratulate students for turning a paved area outside the school into a "rain garden" to absorb and filter rainwater.
Jackson answered a series of questions from students. One boy asked Jackson what's the hardest part of her job.
"It's reminding people in Washington, D.C. that people in the rest of the country love very much their water bodies, love and treasure very much, air quality. Reminding people of that which most of you, I think, already know," Jackson says.
Jackson is a chemical engineer by training, and she implored students -- especially girls -- to pursue careers in science.
The EPA administrator is in the Northwest in part to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the signing of the federal Clean Water Act.
This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.