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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 18, 2009

Contact:
Seaberry Nachbar
831-647-4204

NOAA Awards Ocean Guardian Grants
To California Schools

NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has awarded its first round of Ocean Guardian School grants to eleven California schools to help students create school or community-based conservation projects that protect their local watersheds and the ocean.

The grants to the kindergarten through high schools range from $2,000 to $6,000, depending on the scope of the conservation project proposed by the school. Examples of conservation projects include planting school gardens or nature corridors with native plants, initiating recycling programs to reduce litter, and working with communities to address water quality issues in local watersheds that lead to the ocean. In return for taking steps to protect the ocean, each school receives funds to implement its project and a plaque designating it as an Ocean Guardian School.

"California can set a great example for schools nationwide by promoting environmental conservation in their local community with funding from the Ocean Guardian School project," said Kate Thompson, acting National Education Coordinator for the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. "Becoming an Ocean Guardian School provides learning programs that enable students to be environmentally active and committed Ocean Guardians of our marine resources."

The 11 schools include:

  • San Juan School (San Benito County): Ocean Literacy Principles, watershed awareness and "pollution solutions" will be integrated into the hands-on lessons in the San Juan School garden. A cleanup strategy at the school and along the bordering creek will be undertaken by the students. Students and teachers will also participate in a habitat restoration project along the shoreline of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
  • Newbury Park and Oxnard High Schools (Ventura County)The Environmental Club at Oxnard High School and the Ocean for Life Club at Newbury Park High School will work independently on projects focused on environmental issues facing their local watersheds and marine ecosystems. Students will participate in classroom learning and field trip activities that will include scientific monitoring projects and photographic and video documentation. The clubs will come together to network and share information about the students' research, current environmental issues, and community outreach.
  • Fairmeadow Elementary (Santa Clara County) The Green Team will create an environmental education garden with sustainability as its theme. Lessons will focus on organic gardening, composting, climate change, and human impact on the environment, including San Francisco Bay and the ocean.
  • Juaquin Miller Elementary (Alameda County)The JMStream Team Project will focus on the local Sausal Creek watershed through a variety of hands-on activities that integrate earth and life science curriculum, field trips, and partnerships with local organizations. Students will educate the local community about watershed issues through their native plant sales, projects with Friends of Sausal Creek and participation with other schools in a week-long watershed health program.

The NOAA B-WET Program was established in 2002 to improve the understanding of environmental stewardship of students, teachers, and communities through education. Recognizing that an educated community is the key to understanding and sustaining the nation's ocean and coastal environments, NOAA has developed B-WET Programs across the United States.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit http://www.noaa.gov.

On the Web:

Bay Watershed Education and Training Program
NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

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