Bay Watershed Education and Training grantees put environmental education into action
Around the country, students are becoming stewards of their local watersheds. In a new video series, you can see how NOAA’s Bay Watershed Education and Training Program (B-WET) is empowering students to take action through Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences. Through these experiences, students and teachers investigate local environmental issues and explore solutions they can implement in their communities.
B-WET currently serves seven geographic areas. Regional implementation allows B-WET programs to be responsive to local education and environmental priorities. Each B-WET project is tailored to local environmental challenges, culture, and needs, making it relevant to participants and their daily lives. These three videos highlight the B-WET regions of California, Gulf of Mexico, and Hawaii.
“We have something special here and we are part of a global challenge that we're all trying to work towards so [the students] can actually speak to [why we’re doing this work] just as well as any of our local leaders can.” — Michelle Templeton, Assistant Director of Public Works, City of Watsonville, B-WET project partner
Grantee spotlight: Watsonville Wetlands Watch.
Students in Watsonville are exploring green careers while learning about the Pajaro Valley wetlands. California B-WET serves communities throughout the watersheds of San Francisco Bay, Monterey Bay, and Santa Barbara Channel. Funded projects make connections to local marine sanctuaries and ocean environments, and the impacts of a changing climate in California.
Learn more about California B-WET.
Gulf of Mexico B-WET
“I really believe that people will protect something they understand and they'll only understand something they get to experience, so by being hands-on with this process, by going out there, seeing the water, seeing the test results and getting that training they are going to be far deeper invested into the future of this area and the future of the waterways here.” — Yael Girard, Executive Director, Weeks Bay Foundation, B-WET project partner
Grantee spotlight: Mobile BayKeeper.
In Alabama, students are learning about Mobile Bay and Weeks Bay estuaries, becoming certified water quality monitors, and building a sense of ownership over their local resources. Gulf of Mexico B-WET serves projects in the coastal counties of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Funded projects support the environmental priorities of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, a regional partnership working to enhance the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico.
Learn more about Gulf of Mexico B-WET.
“As soon as I implemented the B-WET program, using these real-life experiences, I saw a huge shift in my students and it all was more meaningful for them. It really made a significant difference in their understanding of the science.” — Cuyote Corey Harkins, OPIHI Teacher, Farrington High School, B-WET project participant
Grantee spotlight: University of Hawaii at Manoa’s College of Education, Curriculum Research & Development Group.
Teachers statewide are trained on the rocky intertidal ecosystem in Hawaii and receive the tools and resources they need to lead their students in scientific data collection in those areas. Hawaii B-WET serves the entire state of Hawaii. Hawaii B-WET projects incorporate traditional and modern management practices into culturally relevant science-based learning experiences.
Learn more about Hawaii B-WET.
Special thanks to Great Lakes Outreach Mediaoffsite link and National Marine Sanctuary Foundationoffsite link for assistance creating these videos. You can download these videos from the NOAA Library: B-WET Overviewoffsite link, B-WET Teaseroffsite link, California B-WEToffsite link, Hawaii B-WEToffsite link, Gulf of Mexico B-WEToffsite link.
B-WET is an environmental education program that provides competitive funding for projects that support place-based experiential learning for students and related professional development for teachers. The core component of B-WET funded projects is the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEEs), multi‐stage activities that include learning both outdoors and in the classroom.
Want to learn about how educators implement MWEEs? Take a look at these videosoffsite link created by our partner, the Chesapeake Bay Program.