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|Sea Research Awarded $34,255 in Grants from Long Island Sound Futures Fund|
MYSTIC, Conn.– Top federal and state officials from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded $1,011,878 in Long Island Sound Futures Fund grants to local governments and community organizations. The grants fund 33 projects that improve water quality, restore habitat, enhance living resources and educate and involve the public. Sea Research Foundation, Inc. received two grants totaling $34,255 to support a conservation-focused school program in Norwich and New Haven and aquarium event.
The grants support Sea Research’s annual National Estuaries Day Celebration and “Where the City Meets the Sea: the Long Island Sound Curricula Outreach Program,” an environmental education project that reaches approximately 750 primarily low-income students in five schools – Fairhaven Elementary, Johnny Martinez Elementary, Barnard Environmental Magnet, Kelly Middle and Teachers Memorial Middle School – in Norwich and New Haven. The program is also offered in New London schools under a Community Foundation of Southeastern Connecticut grant.
“The vision of Sea Research is to create a new approach to conservation education that integrates hands-on components and educational efforts into a single initiative that encourages students and the public to actively participate in the conservation of their environment,” said Dr. Stephen M. Coan, president and CEO of Sea Research. “By providing kids with direct experiences with Long Island Sound – through animal contact, coastline visits and aquarium events – we hope to inspire them to become ambassadors for our marine environments.”
“Where the City Meets the Sea” is a multidisciplinary program that consists of three primary areas: classes about Long Island Sound taught by Mystic Aquarium’s traveling teachers at the schools; a coastal field study trip in which students explore the shoreline and marine life that live in an estuary; and a trip to Mystic Aquarium, where kids can see the marine animals that are local to their area, as well as to regions around the world. The program is designed for students in grades 1 to 8, and is aligned with Connecticut standards in science, math and social studies.
The National Estuaries Day Celebration at Mystic Aquarium takes place every September and includes activities, games, stories and live animal presentations designed to educate guests on the importance of estuaries and the need to protect them. Children have the opportunity to make an official pledge to the environment, participate in a scavenger hunt to learn about estuarine environments and meet costumed characters representing estuary animals. An estuary learning center features field guides and estuary posters, as well as information on how pollution affects estuaries like Long Island Sound. Local environmental organizations are on-site to share information on their conservation efforts. A coastal clean-up at Bluff Point State Park in Groton takes place the day before or day after the celebration.
About Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Learning are divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3organization. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration.
This press release was published on October 29, 2009.
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