American Littoral Society Educational Program Blending Education, Science and Outreach
Protecting marine life and its habitat is the American Littoral Society’s starting point and most fundamental mission. Our efforts to achieve this mission are hallmarked by our three-pronged approach, which includes environmental education, conservation and advocacy.
Education is one of the three major components of the Society’s methodology to continue to care for and protect the coast, and to engage others to do the same. Youth are our future stewards.
Our Educational Program includes the following components:
· in-classroom lessons
· in-the field science work
· advocacy efforts led by students around key issues, and
· student-led community outreach to ensure commitment to best practices, and endorse and support the students’ work
Educating students will lead to greater protection and understanding of our local waterways, while addressing what coastal life will look like for them in the future, in an era of a changing climate. The program will seek to recognize and address challenges associated with increasing the resiliency of our waterfront communities, and the health of our rivers and estuaries.
The goal of the program is to involve science students in a year-long array of activities based on curriculum around two themes:
· Healthy Rivers: oyster recycling/restoring reefs in the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers, in response to water pollution threats to the rivers and
· Masses of Grasses: Dunes and Beachgrasses and Living Shorelines and the ecological importance of “soft” vs. “hard” when considering increasing the resiliency of shorelines and communities in the wake of Sandy, and as we face climate change.
For both themes, students use what they learn to further engage their communities. On-the-water and on-the-land field trips will be scheduled for students to witness living shorelines and what’s happened behind them over time, vs. the use of hard structures and the outcome of their effectiveness during severe weather events or simply over time.