Shorebird Sister Schools Program
Conserving the Nature of America
How did the Shorebird Sister Schools Program get started?

Every May for two short weeks, thousands of shorebirds arriving from the south descend on Kachemak Bay, Alaska, the location of the town of Homer, en route to their Arctic breeding grounds.

This amazing phenomena lead to the development of the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival hosted by the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, the Homer Chamber of Commerce and local public schools. 

The Shorebird Sister Schools Program began as part of the shorebird festival, helping students better understand the mechanics of the shorebird’s annual migration along the Pacific Flyway to arrive to nest in Alaska each year.

A local teacher proposed to build an information-sharing e-mail network among schools located all along the Pacific Flyway from Alaska down to Latin America where many birds spend the winter.  Students from each migratory stopover site could monitor the progress of shorebird migration and report their observations by sending e-mail to all other schools participating in the program.   Starting in 1994, 17 schools from Alaska to California were connected to the shorebird information network.  Eventually the network grew to include schools all across the USA and beyond to many Latin American countries, Japan and Russia.

Our Shorebird Sisters Schools Educators Guide has been translated into Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Portuguese and is available free as a CD from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  

The Shorebird Sisters Schools Program and its partners are working together to help guide this program toward accomplishing the long term goal of educating the public about how they can help conserve shorebirds and their habitats.