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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 6:43 am | Fair 52º


Santa Barbara Area Schools, Groups Get Environmental Education Grants

UCSB, Oak Grove School in Ojai and the Ventura County Office of Education are among the recipients.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced the presentation of seven education grants totaling nearly $374,000 to Santa Barbara Channel area schools and nonprofit groups.

The grants, part of NOAA’s Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program, will support environmental education projects focused on NOAA’s Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

Funding was awarded to school districts and nonprofit organizations, many benefiting underprivileged students. Programs will take place in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and focus on two areas: meaningful watershed educational experiences for students and professional development for educators. Several projects received funding up to $60,000.

Among the seven grantees are:

» Oak Grove School in Ojai: Students from three schools learn about community stewardship through restoration activities such as soil sampling, invasive plant removal, seed collecting and native planting of the historic Ojai Meadows Preserve, located adjacent to the schools.

» Ventura County Office of Education: Students explore a diverse marine environment through active participation in monitoring and data collection on their local Channel Islands and live interaction with researchers and scientists.

» UCSB (Santa Barbara and Ventura counties): Teachers are provided instruction on how to integrate watershed studies into their ongoing curricula, how to select watershed curriculum materials, and how to provide hands-on, inquiry-based field experiences to their students.

“This area is a natural learning laboratory to be used by our teachers to teach about the value of the coastal environment and the connection between land and sea,” said Chris Mobley, superintendent of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. “These grants will provide an opportunity for students to see, touch and learn about our national marine sanctuaries and the watersheds that lead to them.”

The NOAA B-WET Program was established in 2002 to enhance environmental stewardship among students, teachers and communities through education. Recognizing that an educated community is the key to understanding and sustaining the nation’s ocean and coastal environments, NOAA has developed B-WET programs across the United States.

Tina Reed represents the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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