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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
CARLSBAD FWO: Partners Program Supports International Education Project That  Connects Children With Nature
Region 8, November 6, 2008
This green sea turtle, named
This green sea turtle, named "Pappy," weighed in at 317 lbs. She was captured on the shores of the San Diego Bay by scientists from the Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Nearby, 6th grade students from Harborside elementary watched in awe as scientists measured and weighed this amazing ancient creature. (Photo: Dale Frost, Unified Port of San Diego) - Photo Credit: n/a

by Stephanie Weagley, Carlsbad FWO

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office Partners Program (Carlsbad Partners Program) has awarded $5,000 to Pro Peninsula’s Ocean Connectors, a non-profit environmental education program that connects fifth and sixth grade students in San Diego, California and La Paz, Baja California, Mexico to nature.

 

The Ocean Connectors program uses the endangered green sea turtle, which migrates between the San Diego and La Paz bays, to connect the students, teaching them about ocean conservation, the connection between terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems, and creating a shared sense of stewardship of natural resources. The program crosses borders and cultural boundaries by linking students in underserved schools in both cities. 

 

 “The funds provided to Pro Peninsula will help ensure that Ocean Connectors has another year of success as the program continues to expand and improve,” said Carlsbad Partners Program Coordinator Samantha Marcum.

 

This unique interdisciplinary program incorporates science, reading, writing, art, culture, and bilingual linguistics, as well as provides students with the opportunity to experience nature first hand. Through the program, students get the chance to visit nearby coasts, go on field trips, interact with local researchers, hear presentations, and participate in a diverse array of classroom activities.

 

Since the program’s inception, Ocean Connectors has taught approximately 3,000 students about sea turtle biology and ocean ecology. Because of this program, students have created international links through pen-pal letters and artwork exchanges fostering shared global visions of ocean conservation and protection of endangered species.

 

For the 2008-2009 school years, Ocean Connectors hopes to introduce approximately 1,200 students from underserved schools in both cities to biology and conservation by teaching them about the endangered green sea turtles that migrate between South San Diego Bay and southern Mexico. They also hope to show students the interconnectedness of our oceans and the effectiveness of sharing environmental information across international borders.


Pro Peninsula is a U.S. based non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening individual and community efforts to protect and preserve the environment throughout the Baja California Peninsula. It bases it past success on its ability to implement a combination of classroom presentations, letter exchanges, artwork, and field trips involving important public resources, such as nature centers, refuges, and research facilities. These powerful experiences will provide underprivileged students with diverse education opportunities not readily available to them.

 

The Carlsbad Partners Program helps fund habitat restoration and enhancement, as well as outreach and education projects throughout the year. Connecting young people to nature and showing the importance of thinking globally and acting locally to protect our fragile environment is a shared goal of the Service and Pro Peninsula.

 

Contact Info: Stephanie Weagley, 805-644-1766, stephanie_weagley@fws.gov