Education: Major Accomplishments
Here are just some of the major accomplishments of the our Education Program during the last three years.
Student Restoration Projects
Almost 5,000 students have directly participated in restoring coastal habitat and water quality by growing marsh grasses in their schoolyards and then planting them, helping to install rain gardens at their schools and participating in oyster restoration projects. The federation supplemental classroom curriculum focuses on specific N.C. environmental issues and includes activities for use with all ages.
The federation’s Oyster Education Program strives to include students in all facets of restoring oyster reefs. The students help bag oyster shells, put the bags on new reefs and monitor the restored reefs. Our Student Wetland Nursery Program gives middle school students a sustained and hands-on opportunity to learn about wetlands and water quality, build wetland nurseries at schools, cultivate wetland plants from seed and use these plants to restore coastal shorelines in their communities.
Other community education programs include Jones Island Summer Day Camp, Hammocks Beach State Park and Jockey’s Ridge State Park education programs and marsh cruises in and around Bogue Sound and the White Oak River. These programs usually occur in the warmer months – take a look at our calendar for specific dates.
Coastal Advocacy Institute
Five graduate students graduated from our first Coastal Advocacy Institute last summer. This new approach to conducting student internships provides a very structured environment for learning and working with some of the most outstanding and accomplished coastal management and nonprofit professionals in the world. The federation was able to enlist world renowned scientists, authors and environmental-management experts to share their work with the students, and this set the stage for the students to undertake summer projects to assist the federation in its work. The favorable reviews of the program from student participants have enabled the federation to expand the program in 2012.
Jones Island Environmental Education and Restoration Center
The federation purchased this island in the middle of the White Oak River by obtaining a grant from the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund. It then turned over ownership of the island to Hammocks Beach State Park and entered into a memorandum of agreement with the N.C. Division of State Parks to jointly manage the island as an education center for students and adults. In the past three years, the infrastructure on the island has been improved to support the center through the work of the federation, the park and 2,500 volunteers.
The island also has become a center for numerous community-based fisheries habitat restoration projects, student camps, classroom field trips and tourists.
Prepared Studies, Coastal Forums
Information through publications, including our annual State of the Coast Report; workshops; and the Daland Nature Library can be imperative to knowing more about what's happening in and around the coast. So can walking along one of our nature trails.The last summit on coastal energy held in New Bern last summer was sold out.
Government Official Training
Through three Local Government Academies, 92 local government officials were trained in environmental issues, programs and rules relating to the N.C. coast and how they can better manage coastal resources. The academies were held in all three coastal regions.