The proposed project is to fund through the District's Environmental Fund eleven environmental education programs, including classroom presentations, hands-on experimental learning in the classroom, environmental service-learning projects, and bus transportation.
The environmental education programs include:
1). Chula Vista Elementary School District Coastal Education Program
Through its partnership with the Living Coast Discovery Center (LCDC), the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) Coastal Education Program provides standards-based lessons and hands-on curriculum focusing on environmental protection, habitat restoration, and endangered and sensitive species connected to the San Diego Bay. Funding over the next five years will provide bus transportation and admission to the LCDC for an estimated 20,800 preschool through eighth grade students.
2). I Love A Clean San Diego
Through its Connecting Kids and Communities to Conservation program, I Love a Clean San Diego (ILACSD) will provide environmental protection and pollution prevention education to students throughout the San Diego Bay watershed. Using interactive classroom presentations, hands-on post-presentation cleanup events, and community over five years. Lessons will cover the importance of water and watersheds, key pollutants and their effects, and how students can become environmental stewards to prevent pollution in local waterways.
3). Living Coast Discovery Center
The Living Coast Discovery Center (LCDC) Watershed Discovery: Connecting and Protecting San Diego Bay program takes advantage of its unique location within the San Diego Bay National Wildlife. Refuge to provide environmental conservation and environmental stewardship education to students and guests. The program consists of three components: a field trip that utilizes docent-led tours and educator-led lab activities to address conservation, watershed protection, pollution prevention, native plants and animals, and responsible outdoor recreation; public education utilizing instructor-led hands-on activities and interpretive signage designed to educate the general public on pollutant prevention and watershed protection related to the San Diego Bay; and habitat restoration and clean-up that engages volunteers as well as the general public. This program will provide hands-on lessons to over 31,000 kindergarten through twelfth grade students, families, volunteers, and general public over the next five years.
4). Maritime Museum of San Diego
The Maritime Museum of San Diego Ecology and Economy of the Bay program addresses the role of the San Diego Bay in the regional economy, and the fragility of the San Diego Bay's ecology specifically related to human impacts. Students initially board the Museum's steam ferryboat Berkeley, and then take a trip around the Bay aboard the Museum's boat Pilot. Students participate in a series of marine science experiments to learn about the Bay's history, its fiora and fauna, pollution prevention, sediment and water quality, and the manner in which humans have impacted the San Diego Bay. This program will provide environmental education to approximately 4,500 fourth and fifth grade students over five years.
5). Ocean Discovery Institute
Through its Student Initiative Program and the new Living Lab facility, Ocean Discovery Institute will provide approximately 17,500 kindergarten through eighth grade students with science and environmental education experiences over the next five years. This program will provide classroom, hands-on laboratory, and field-based programming connecting students to the San Diego Bay watershed. Lessons will address coastal ecosystems, watershed management and protection, and conservation of natural resources while introducing students to a wide range of science professions.
6). Outdoor Outreach
Outdoor Outreach's YES: Youth Environmental Stewardship Project program utilizes recreational learning and hands-on environmental education and stewardship to educate, train and mobilize students from environmental justice communities within the San Diego Bay watershed. The program engages and connects students with San Diego Bay's natural resources by incorporating environmental lessons on watershed dynamics, pollution prevention, and local ecology with recreational activities including hiking, biking, and kayaking, as well as participation in local trash clean ups and restoration events. This program will provide environmental education and stewardship lessons to approximately 1,650 fourth through twelfth grade students over two years, while supporting additional leadership and environmental stewardship career training.
7). Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego
The Resource Conservation District (RCD) of Greater San Diego Watershed Connection program is an interactive classroom lesson connecting students to their local watershed. Lessons focus on water pollution issues including non-point source pollutants such as petroleum products, detergents, fertilizers, and pet waste, and introduce students and educators to appropriate best management practices. Using hands-on lessons to demonstrate watershed modeling, students learn where common pollutants are typically generated, how these pollutants travel from streets to waterways, and how to best manage and prevent further impacts to their watershed. This program will provide environmental education to over 12,000 second through sixth grade students over five years.
8). San Diego Audubon Society
The San Diego Audubon Society Outdoor Explore! program provides after-school outdoor environmental education to students through physical activity, exploration and exposure to natural spaces in their community. Focusing on the Otay River watershed, this program combines naturalist-led lessons with student-led self-exploration to provide students with an understanding of the function of floodplains and human impacts on habitat and water quality specific to the San Diego Bay. This program will provide environmental education and stewardship lessons to over 2,500 kindergarten through sixth grade students over five years.
9). San Diego Coastkeeper
The San Diego Coastkeeper Water & Climate Stewards of San Diego Bay program is an enhancement of the existing District-funded online Water Education for All curriculum, which continues to provide environmental education to students and teachers within the San Diego Bay watershed. This program will support the development and pilot testing of one climate science lessons and one climate science stewardship project. Content will include an overview on climate science, the influence of natural processes and/or human activities on climate, and ways to measure carbon and water footprints. San Diego Coastkeeper will partner with six local schools within the San Diego Bay watershed to pilot this curriculum, and feedback will be used to refine and complete the program content. The lesson will be made available free online to all educators. The pilot phase of this program will provide environmental education to approximately 250 students, while the completed online curriculum has the potential to reach a much larger audience.
10). The Ocean Foundation - Ocean Connectors
The Ocean Foundation Ocean Connectors program provides hands-on environmental education through field trips, in class lectures, and land and water-based eco-tours. The program provides instruction on the ecosystems of San Diego Bay and cultivates an understanding of coastal environments, the connection between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and the health, cultural and economic values of San Diego Bay. As a component of the program, students use a "knowledge exchange" with student peers in Mexico to further their understanding of natural resources, recording and presenting information collected and learned from program participation. The program will provide education to over 13,500 fourth through seventh grade students from National City over five years.
11). Zoological Society of San Diego
The Zoological Society of San Diego Guardians of the Bay program provides intensive week-long project-based environmental education lessons for sixth through eighth grade students through a combination of in-classroom learning and outdoor investigations around San Diego Bay. The program creates an opportunity for students to generate change in local communities and watersheds, thereby supporting the overall health of the San Diego Bay. Each student grade level will study a different subject that fits into an overarching theme of environmental health specific to the San Diego Bay. The program introduces students to climate change and its impacts on local watersheds, pollution prevention, and natural resources through an all-school assembly. Specific grade level studies are then introduced, including data collection and scientific observation in the field, data analysis and interpretation of results in the classroom, and field application of the learned scientific skillset. This program will provide environmental education for approximately 4,480 students over four years.