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Monterey Bay Issue Name: Multicultural Outreach - MERITO

Internal Team Contact:
Karen Grimmer, MBNMS, phone: 831-647-4253, email:

Issue Description:
See the Proposed Action Plans

MBNMS has recently developed an action plan for multicultural outreach named the MERITO (Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans) plan. MERITO was developed in partnership with local Latino communities to provide expanded bilingual outreach and education about marine and coastal environments and their conservation to students, teachers, adults and families. MERITO, (Spanish meaning is “merit” or “worth”) includes three specific areas of focus: community-based outreach, site-based outreach, and teacher professional development and college internships.

This program, while developed, has not been fully implemented. Currently, California State Parks, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve and the MBNMS have teamed up to launch a first stage pilot program for the site-based outreach component. Multicultural outreach strategies specifically for the MBNMS will focus on implementing the MERITO plan and incorporating MERITO into the management plan.

The long-term goal of this action plan will be full implementation of all three main components of the MERITO plan, as well as integration of the program into the overall MBNMS education plan. The Spanish language component is the first of a series of multicultural education and outreach plans that will eventually target other diverse communities. Ultimately, MERITO will be exported to other sanctuaries as a model multicultural education and outreach program.

Implementation of the existing MERITO framework will result in the development and delivery of Spanish language bilingual outreach programs, materials, and products addressing why ocean protection is a role all coastal citizens share, and how Latino families take action in their own lives to protect coastal and watershed areas. Delivery will occur through field trips and classroom outreach for K-12 schools, training and resources for youth leaders of after school programs, internships and scholarships for Latino college students, professional development for Latino-serving teachers, and special events and projects for migrant families.

Internal Team Participation:
Michele Templeton, MBNMS
Dawn Hayes, MBNMS


Start: January, 2003
  Date Time Location
Complete: March, 2003

Outcomes and Products:

  • Implementation of the MERITO program and integration into the MBNMS Management Plan