The NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has awarded 21 K-12 schools in California with more than $74,000 in grants to help protect the health of the ocean.
The schools received Ocean Guardian School grants to implement a hands-on school or community-based project that helps protect and conserve the health of local watersheds, the ocean and special ocean areas like national marine sanctuaries.
Each school has been awarded up to $4,000 in funding to focus on one of five main pathways for guarding ocean health: watershed restoration, reuse/reduce/recycle/rot, marine debris, water quality monitoring, and schoolyard habitats/gardens. At the end of the school year, schools that pass a formal evaluation process will be officially recognized by NOAA as an Ocean Guardian School.
The 2013-14 Ocean Guardian School grant recipients in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties include Adams Elementary School (Santa Barbara County), Adelante Charter School (Santa Barbara County), Goleta Family School (Santa Barbara County), Hueneme High School (Ventura County) and Parkview Elementary School (Ventura County).
Since the Ocean Guardian program started in 2009, 41 schools in California, serving 15,000 students, have received funding for their conservation projects. Data collected from past grant projects illustrate that Ocean Guardian schools continue to make a significant contribution to the protection of the ocean. More than 150,000 pounds of trash have been removed from local beaches; 109,000 square feet of non-native plants removed from school communities; and nearly 12,000 single-use plastic bottles removed from local landfills.
NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries serves as trustee for a system of 14 marine protected areas, encompassing more than 170,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes waters. Through active research, management, and public engagement, national marine sanctuaries sustain healthy environments that are the foundation for thriving communities and stable economies. Follow Sanctuaries on Facebook and on Twitter @sanctuaries.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our social media channels.
— Shauna Bingham represents the NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.