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outreach and education
Fishermen Connect Students with Rich Monterey Bay Heritage
students in California are learning about their fishing communities through a school enrichment program offered by local fishermen and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. The "Fishermen in the Classroom" program has used field trips to harbors and classroom visits by fishermen to expose more than 2,500 students to the rich cultural history and modern-day relevance of commercial fishing in the Monterey Bay and the Gulf of the Farallones national marine sanctuaries. The presentation topics range from a day in the life of a fisherman to the effects of environmental change on fisheries.

This program is part of a broader initiative at national marine sanctuaries to educate communities about the fisheries that have been a part of the local economy for hundreds of years. Hands-on learning opportunities like these foster a greater appreciation of the people working to bring seafood to our local restaurants and markets. According to one fisherman, "This is a chance to explain how sustainable fishing practices are part of the ecosystem-based approach of the sanctuary to protect our oceans."

Challenges facing the ocean today cross national and ethnic boundaries, and marine sanctuaries serve as places where people can find common ground and discuss solutions. Sanctuary education and outreach efforts link communities through innovative programs and help spread awareness of the ocean’s connection to all life.

NOAA Strengthens Education Partnerships in American Samoa

volunteersIn July 2010, a team of 19 sanctuary system educators hosted a "Dive Into Education" workshop on Tutuila Island, American Samoa, in partnership with Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the American Samoa Department of Commerce and Department of Education. Dive Into Education provides teachers educational expertise, resources and training to support ocean and climate literacy in the classroom. More than 100 teachers attended the two-day workshop, where they chose from 29 engaging, hands-on sessions on topics like coral reef ecosystems, plate tectonics and climate change. After the workshop, 96 percent of teacher participants said their expectations were met or exceeded, and 87 percent felt confident in their ability to incorporate ocean literacy principles into their curriculum. In the following weeks, Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the local Department of Education established a Teacher Program to provide teachers continued support in the skills and lessons learned during the workshop.

Aquarius 2010 Mission Brings Coral Reefs to Diverse Audience

In October 2010, marine scientists spent nine days living and working in Aquarius, an undersea research lab located 60 feet below the surface of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, conducting research and participating in education programs. The team studied habitat conditions and reef fish behavior and tested new technologies to track fish movement. They also participated in the OceanLive program, which included 34 live broadcasts — 11 in Spanish — watched by over 500,000 people, including more than 1,000 students at 18 locations around the globe. Daily broadcasts brought the ocean to viewers via live dives and interactive programming from the Aquarius Reef Base, including four special shows hosted with U.S. Congress members Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart in both English and Spanish. Supported by AT&T and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, this mission involved partners including MERITO, the National Association of Black Scuba Divers, the University of Connecticut and California State University, Monterey Bay.

National Marine Sanctuary News Reaches Americans Every Day

volunteers on the beachThe message of the national marine sanctuaries touches the public every day. FY 2010 news coverage set new records, as print and electronic news articles and stories about national marine sanctuaries generated more than 8,200 individual news clips. Sanctuary news stories totaled more than 710,000,000 impressions at an estimated advertising value of $26,750,000. News stories highlighting the National Marine Sanctuary System appeared in national and local print publications, local and network television and radio news. In this digital age, the sanctuaries also used blogs, live webcasts, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to convey ocean messages to the public. News stories brought details of deep-sea exploration and ocean research to the interested public. The drama of science missions, historical discoveries and whale disentanglements reached international audiences, while local news covered wide-ranging stories highlighting sanctuaries in their communities.

Sanctuaries Connect with Next Generation of Ocean Leaders

volunteers on the beachThe Office of National Marine Sanctuaries works to educate and engage the youth of today, who will become tomorrow’s leaders in ocean science. Every year, tens of thousands of students participate in education programs across the National Marine Sanctuary System. In 2010, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary alone reached more than 11,000 students and teachers, giving participants the chance to learn about marine ecosystems through hands-on education as well as visits to sanctuary beaches and rocky shores with programs like Long-term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students (LiMPETS). Also in California, the MERITO program engages Spanish-speaking students year-round and gives them the tools to tackle issues threatening ocean resources in the future. Elsewhere, sanctuary staff partnered with the National Association of Black Scuba Divers to increase ocean literacy in African-American populations and encourage young people to learn swimming and scuba diving, providing a group of students with the chance to dive with archaeologists on shipwrecks in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Through efforts like these around the sanctuary system, students have opportunities to explore and gain an appreciation for the sanctuaries’ diverse life and vast ecosystems and to learn to be better ocean and sanctuary stewards.

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Revised February 14, 2011 by Sanctuaries Web Team | Contact Us | Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service
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