NOAA Reaches Environmental Educators across North America
OCT. 30, 2023 — On October 18, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Education Specialist, Alexandria Gillen, led a panel presentation at the North American Association for Environmental Education’s 2023 Virtual Conference titled “Reduce, Reuse, Reinvent: Perspectives on Zero Waste Schools Preventing Marine Debris.”
Gillen was joined by representatives from three Marine Debris Program grantees: One Cool Earth, who supports school garden and waste reduction programming in California’s Central Coast; Eckerd College, who has led two initiatives to reduce plastic waste at the college level in Florida; and Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, who has worked with rural middle schools to reduce lunchroom waste. Panelists discussed their work, adaptations to COVID school closures, and inspiring stories from their experiences with students and communities. Twenty educators attended the session to learn more about zero-waste initiatives in schools, and more are expected to view the presentation recording.
The Marine Debris Program had an additional presentation featured at the Conference, “Student Artwork Imagining a Future Free of Marine Debris,” which highlighted the Marine Debris Program’s annual art contest for K-8th grade students. It was available to conference attendees as a 10-minute “Bright Spot” intended to share success stories from the field.
The Marine Debris Program looks forward to continuing to advance the ways we can work with teachers, inspire students, and connect communities motivated to prevent marine debris.