Project Title: Providing Sea Turtle Educational Experiences for Students in Coastal, Low-Income Schools
Project Manager: Joy Winet
Organization: Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program (Florida Government)
Grant Amount: $12,808.00
Summary: Centrally located within the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge critical sea turtle nesting habitat, the Barrier Island Sanctuary Management and Education Center (BIC) has a responsibility to provide environmental education opportunities to facilitate continued conservation of sea turtles into the next generation. Demand for our sea turtle education programs exceeds what can be accommodated without continued grant support for a part-time Sea Turtle Educator. There has been a 300% increase in total sea turtle programs at the BIC and a nearly 500% increase in visits from low-income elementary schools designated as Title 1. Students have shown a significant learning gain resulting from this program through pre- and post-test analysis during our Sea Turtle Academy Program. This grant will continue support of Sea Turtle Educator position, as well as busing travel reimbursement to schools identified as Title 1 to maintain access to sea turtle education for students from low-income schools and to be able to participate in sea turtle outreach at events/schools. Many of our visiting students, though living minutes from nesting beaches, have never seen the ocean and we have the opportunity to create lifelong stewards by introducing the coastline as sea turtle nesting habitat. All of our students participate in a beach clean-up, during which time they learn about threats facing sea turtles and sea turtle etiquette.