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Here Today, Here Tomorrow: A Geographic Focus on Marine Conservation
A Student Ocean Conference

Are you ready to learn?

Photo of fishprinting at the Seattle SOCImagine a field trip to an aquarium…but not to just any aquarium. This one is different. This time you get to see behind the scenes. You get to talk to the professionals - the ones who run the aquarium, the ones who do the research, the ones who work for local, state and even federal agencies to make and uphold conservation laws. You get to meet, firsthand, the individuals who are making conservation happen. You even get to tell them your opinions about coastal conservation and management.

Student Ocean Conferences are funded by the National Geographic Society's (NGS) Geographic Education Foundation in collaboration with the Sustainable Seas Expedition (SSE), and Coastal America and its Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers (CELCs) and federal partner agencies.

While those of us in the profession understand the plight of the coastal and marine environments, the general public is hard-pressed to understand why the vast ocean and its inhabitants are in any serious danger. Similarly, while most Americans understand the role of, and even the need for, national and state parks, very few are aware of the importance of protecting and managing marine natural resources.

Photo of Meeting at the New England SOCIn an effort to educate the public about these marine issues, Coastal America's CELCs, in collaboration with the SSE and Coastal America federal agency partners, have received a grant from the NGS Geographic Education Foundation to reach out to students of coastal communities across the country. The venue for this collaborative effort is known as the Student Ocean Conference, and the objective is to educate and empower students about protection of the marine environment.

Student Ocean Conferences will be hosted at the various CELCs around the country over the next several years. While each conference will be unique, highlights might include such things as interaction with local federal agency professionals involved in marine management, conservation, and sanctuaries; discussion sessions for students to relate their own experiences and insights; and a session with a leader in regional or national marine conservation issues, in most cases Dr. Sylvia Earle.

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This page was updated Friday, 20-Feb-2004 11:14:07 EST

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