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Voices of the Bay

A Voyage of Science, Community and Heritage Through Local
Fisheries Knowledge

Voices of the Bay’s mission is to create a place-based education project where local fisheries, fishing communities and their rich maritime history and culture are a focal point for students to learn about the marine environment, the ecological and human dimensions of marine resource use and its management.

Voices of the Bay intends to expose students to the rich fishing history of the Monterey Bay area by direct transfer of knowledge from fishing and fisheries community members to students. The central goal of the project is to develop place-based curriculum, lesson plans and activities that use local fisheries as the context for learning.

To date Voices of the Bay Project has brought together commercial and recreational fishermen, educators, and community members with expertise in fisheries biology and resource management, social science, and curriculum development.  Over the course of the year, they were asked to 1) identify curriculum topics and field activities to accompany the curriculum, and 2) pilot place-based fieldtrips to a working harbor (fishing boats, processing plants, fish market) for middle and high school students. Field trips were reviewed with a front-end evaluation to determine effectiveness for students and curriculum needs for teachers.

For the 2007/ 2008 year Voices of the Bay will develop a standards-based curriculum to be used in conjunction with field trips and pilot new field trips. Voices of the Bay will hire an evaluator to help design an evaluation plan.

Coming up in 2008/2009,  the new curriculum will be implemented in middle and high schools and posted on an existing NOAA Fisheries website.  The website will evolve into a Community Resource Network (CRN) database, which will include useful fisheries resource information for teachers, students and communities.  Based on the evaluation plan developed in 2007/ 2008, both a formative and summative evaluation will be conducted.

If you are interested in being a part of the Voices of the Bay program through  classroom participation or curriculum development please contact Seaberry Nachbar at or Lisa Uttal at

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