Empowering Youth: An International Program Prepares Students to Lead Environmental Stewardship of the Gulf of Maine Watershed
Miner, Jennifer, Elshof, Leo, Redden, Anna, Terry, John, The Science Teacher
The ocean and estuarine ecosystems of both the United States and Canada are under considerable stress from factors such as pollution runoff, overfishing, coastal development, and the introduction of nonnative species (U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy 2004). Coastal communities use watersheds in numerous ways and depend on them for employment and recreation. It is therefore paramount that citizens, particularly young people, are aware of the importance of protecting and preserving watersheds. The Gulf of Maine Institute (GOMI) is striving to empower youth to take on stewardship roles in their communities. Through its Community Based Initiative (CBI) program, GOMI connects students across international boundaries within the Gulf of Maine bioregion, which includes much of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, all of Maine, and a small part of Quebec.
GOMI addresses environmental degradation by working with teams of students, teachers, and community members from around the Gulf of Maine to inspire youth to be stewards of the gulf and its watershed. In preparing young enthusiastic leaders who will take on these stewardship roles in their communities, GOMI provides solid training in environmental sciences and civic engagement. As a result, students become more environmentally aware and actively contribute to environmental initiatives in their hometowns. This bioregional approach helps participants from urban, suburban, and rural communities in Canada and the United States relate to one another as they learn about the interconnectedness of their watershed and their dependence on its continued health.
For the past six years, teams of middle and high school students and teachers from around the Gulf of Maine region have participated in the international CBI program. The program requires a commitment of two academic years combined with two summer residential CBI workshops. Participants are recruited via environmental groups and school systems and a team is typically composed of seven students and three adult mentors. Students apply as a team to participate in the program and are not …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Empowering Youth: An International Program Prepares Students to Lead Environmental Stewardship of the Gulf of Maine Watershed. Contributors: Miner, Jennifer - Author, Elshof, Leo - Author, Redden, Anna - Author, Terry, John - Author. Journal title: The Science Teacher. Volume: 74. Issue: 4 Publication date: April-May 2007. Page number: 24. © 2009 National Science Teachers Association. COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.