FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 27, 2017
Contact: Casi (kc) Callaway, Executive Director & Baykeeper. email@example.com.
Mobile Baykeeper awarded $87,000 grant from NOAA to expand Watershed Education and Monitoring Program
(Mobile, Ala.) - Mobile Baykeeper has been awarded a federal grant in the amount of $87,294 from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to expand its Strategic Watershed Awareness and Monitoring Program (SWAMP) into Baldwin County at Fairhope High School. Baykeeper was selected as a grant recipient through NOAA’s Bay Watershed Education and Training Program (B-WET), which supports Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences for K-12 students and teachers.
Funding will enable Baykeeper staff to educate Fairhope students on watersheds and water quality, train them to become certified water quality monitors through Alabama Water Watch, provide them solutions through innovative web tools, and ultimately empower them to become active stewards of their own watershed.
Casi (kc) Callaway, Mobile Baykeeper Executive Director & Baykeeper, is excited to see the SWAMP program expand into Baldwin County. “Baldwin County is home to many of our most treasured waterways, which is likely a major reason it is also the fastest growing county in the state,” said Callaway. “We’re excited to educate these students on important issues affecting their watershed while also providing them tools to make a difference.”
To further apply principles learned, students will have the opportunity to visit the Weeks Bay Reserve, a NOAA trust reserve located adjacent to Weeks Bay that contains wetlands, swamps, pitcher plants, and diverse wildlife, throughout the school year. “These types of experiences in the field are essential to help students connect concepts learned in the classroom” said Jennifer Jaynes, Fairhope High School Marine Science and AP Environmental Science teacher. “We look forward to collaborating with Mobile Baykeeper as we educate our students on the importance of protecting our natural resources.”
Fairhope High School will be the fourth high school in Mobile and Baldwin County to become a partner of SWAMP. The program began in January 2016 at Citronelle High School, before expanding into LeFLore High School later in the year. In July 2017, Baykeeper received additional grant funding to launch the program at Alma Bryant High School. To date, SWAMP has educated more than 3,000 students and trained more than 75 students to become certified water quality monitors.
To learn more about the SWAMP program, please visit mobilebaykeeper.org/swamp or call 251-433-4229.
Mobile Baykeeper is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that works to provide citizens a means to protect the beauty, health and heritage of the Mobile Bay Watershed and our coastal communities. To learn more about Mobile Baykeeper, please visit www.mobilebaykeeper.org.