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NOAA Announces 2013 B-WET Awards

Contact:          Maggie Mooney-Seus                                                                                               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

                         978-281-9175                                                                                                               August 29, 2013

                          

NOAA Fisheries Announces 2013 Awards for New England Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program

NOAA Fisheries Service Northeast Region today announced that it has awarded close to half a million dollars in funds to support nine educational projects in New England to provide hands-on  learning experiences for K-12 students to foster greater understanding of and connection to local watersheds.

“Nearly every application was outstanding; great projects proposed by talented watershed and marine educators, which made the selection process pretty tough,” said John Bullard, regional administrator, Northeast, NOAA Fisheries. “The eight new projects ultimately selected provide a variety of wonderful ways to help students see how math and science can be used in real world experiences that might further stewardship of valuable watershed ecosystems and possibly inspire a few future scientists.  And we are pleased to be able to fund the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies’ multiyear B-WET project for a second year.”

This year’s nine awards are distributed across five New England states - Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The new award recipients are: Salem Sound 2000, University of Maine, Maritime Gloucester, Education Connection, Save The Bay, University of Rhode Island SMILE, Sturgis Charter Public School, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum at Basin Harbor, Inc.

Students will have a chance to take part in field experiences in their own neighborhoods, including water quality monitoring, sampling and surveys of intertidal, estuarine and marine fishes mollusks and crustacean populations, and studies of human-induced impacts on watershed ecosystems like storm-water runoff and climate change. Teachers will receive training, through field and lab activities, and will get resources and lesson plans to help instruct students in the practice observation, recording, and experimental techniques designed to assess the health and quality watersheds, and to develop age-appropriate activities and skills-based learning experiences.   

All of the chosen projects incorporate Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences (MWEEs), and will meet their state’s requirements for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and NOAA’s ocean literacy principles.

NOAA's B-WET program is an environmental education program that promotes locally relevant, experiential learning in the K-12 environment. B-WET grant recipients go through a competitive selection process for funds to support teacher training and projects that deliver MWEEs to students. The program is national in scope with 7 regional programs: California, Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, New England, and the Pacific Northwest.

Click here to read more about selected projects.

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. Visit us at http://www.noaa.gov or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/noaa and https://www.facebook.com/noaabwet.