Environmental Education

Priorities for Ensuring Environmental Literacy

Young scientists

Young scientists studying specimens with a microscope. Photo credit: Gulf of Mexico Alliance Governors' Action Plan

The importance of the Gulf of Mexico’s influence on climate, health, and the economy reaches beyond the 31 states and two Canadian provinces that are within its watershed. With this influence comes an opportunity to provide educational programs to improve the nation’s understanding and appreciation of the Gulf and its abundant natural and living resources.  To capitalize on this opportunity, the Alliance’s environmental education efforts include formal and informal educational opportunities, professional development, communication, and actions which reach an extensive audience who reflect the phrase “K to Gray.”  The Alliance is committed to providing environmental education that includes local cultural and economic values with the belief that education will encourage action toward a healthier Gulf.

Long-term Goals

  • Continue implementing environmental literacy with a focus on the Gulf
  • Promote stewardship of the Gulf region

 

ACTIONS

Environmental Education 1: Community Education and Outreach

Action: Increase awareness and promote action among Gulf citizens by engaging in educational and outreach activities.

Coastal Training Workshops

The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Training effort is a unique regional collaboration designed to deliver relevant information to key stakeholders on issues related to the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico.  Through the framework of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, the five Gulf Coast National Estuarine Research Reserve Coastal Training Programs are now working together to bridge the science, policy and management communities on a regional scale.  Recent workshops include those to promote proactive resilience and mitigation measures and to improve coordination between emergency managers, floodplain manager’s natural resource managers, land use planners, and county officials.

Project Contact:
Rosalyn Kilcollins
rosalyn.kilcollins@dep.state.fl.us

View Website

Community Outreach & Education Across the Gulf

Smart Yard, Healthy Gulf
Developed by a partnership between the Education and Nutrient Priority Issue Teams, Smart Yard, Healthy Gulf is a new public education campaign designed to reduce fertilizers entering local waters by helping people make responsible lawn fertilizer decisions. Applying the proper amount of fertilizer at the proper time(s) of the growing season keeps lawns looking vibrant. It can save time and money. Not only will lawns be something to be proud of, but the Gulf of Mexico will be more resilient and healthy, including Gulf seafood!  More information available at www.smartyardhealthygulf.com

Project Contact:
Lee Yokel
lyokel@disl.org

View Website

Outreach & Education Mini-grants in Alabama

The Alliance's Education Team supports outreach efforts in Alabama by providing the following mini-grants:
- Weeks Bay Foundation for Watershed Wagon
- Mobile Baykeeper for Muddy Water Watch

Project Contact:
Lee Yokel
lyokel@disl.org

View Website

Outreach & Education Mini-grants in Florida

The Alliance's Education Team supports outreach efforts in Florida by providing the following mini-grants:
- NOAA Environmental Cooperative Service Center at Florida A&M for Minority Students and Community Outreach on Hurricane Preparedness and Adaptation
- Florida Dept of Environmental Protection for Increasing Access to Science-based Environmental Education

Project Contact:
Lee Yokel
lyokel@disl.org

Outreach & Education Mini-grants in Louisiana

The Alliance's Education Team supports outreach efforts in Louisiana by providing the following mini-grants:
- Louisiana Dept of Wildlife & Fisheries for Marine Lab Estuarine & Marine Awareness Education
- Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium for Gulf Lagniappe:  Adult EE Workshops and Wetland Warriors
- Southeastern Louisiana University for Training Future Scientists, Teachers and Families in Coastal Wetland Conservation

Project Contact:
Lee Yokel
lyokel@disl.org

View Website

Outreach & Education Mini-grants in Mississippi

The Alliance's Education Team supports outreach efforts in Mississippi by providing the following mini-grants:
J.L. Scott Marine Education Center - Students & Community Outreach Symposia
Mississippi State University - Community Grass Gardens

Project Contact:
Lee Yokel
lyokel@disl.org

View Website


Environmental Education 2: Public Awareness

Action: Expand public awareness efforts to connect the Gulf and its relevance to the lives of citizens.

Public Awareness Across the Gulf

Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers
Working through the Coastal America Foundaiton, the Alliance EE Team established a network of Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers throughout the Gulf region.  The network creates a partnership between certain federal agencies and marine education centers in the area.  Most Learning Centers are aquariums, but marine science centers and laboratories are also part of this dynamic network.  The network is constantly growing and evolving to address our nation's top coastal and marine issues.  Today, there are five Learning Centers across the Gulf working together to educate and involve the public in protecting our nation's coastal and marine ecosytems.  

Project Contact:
Lee Yokel
lyokel@disl.org

View Website

Public Awareness Mini-grants in Alabama

The Alliance's Education Team supports public awareness efforts in Alabama by providing a mini-grant to the
Alabama Gulf Coast Convention & Visitor's Bureau for their Clean Coast Partnership website & stencils.

Project Contact:
Lee Yokel
lyokel@disl.org

View Website

Public Awareness Mini-grants in Texas

The Alliance's Education Team supports public awareness efforts in Texas by providing a mini-grant to the Texas AgriLife Extension Service for their Kids Teaching Parents Environmental Education program.

Project Contact:
Lee Yokel
lyokel@disl.org

View Website


Environmental Education 3: K through 20 Environmental Literacy

Action: Increase environmental literacy within the K through 20 audience by developing, implementing, expanding, and enhancing specific environmental education programs.

Environmental Education Across the Gulf

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab supports the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Environmental Education priority issue by implementing a three-year competitive mini-grant program to the five U.S. Gulf States. The mini-grant program focused on K through 20 Education, Public Awareness and Community Outreach and Education.

Project Contact:
Lee Yokel
lyokel@disl.org

K - 20 Mini-Grants in Alabama

The Alliance's Education Team supports environmental education in Alabama by providing the following K-20 mini-grants:
- Alma Bryant High School for Oyster Gardening
- Mobile Area Education Foundation for Watershed Exploration and Engaging Youth in Engineering
- Wolf Bay Watershed for Wonders of Wetlands
- Dauphin Island Sea Lab for Marine Application of Science and Technology and Marine Science Camp for Special Needs Children
- Environmental Education Association of Alabama for Muddy Water Watch and From the Mountains to the Gulf
- Eastern Shore Art Center for Squeaky Sneakers

Project Contact:
Lee Yokel
lyokel@disl.org

View Website

K - 20 Mini-grants in Florida

The Alliance's Education Team supports environmental education in Florida by providing the following K-20 mini-grants:
- Florida A&M University for Pilot Summer Program for Stewardship and Conservation
- Santa Rosa County School District for Conservation Through Edcuation
- City of Bradenton Beach for Coastal Crusaders Conserving Native Florida 
- The Florida Aquarium for Teens Teaching Tweens About the Coast
- Marine Science Academy in Escambia County for Assessing Water Quality in Pensacola Bay
- Nature's Academy, Inc. for Island Adventures Pilot Project 

Project Contact:
Lee Yokel
lyokel@disl.org

View Website

K - 20 Mini-grants in Louisiana

The Alliance's Education Team supports environmental education in Louisiana by providing the following K-20 mini-grants:
- Audubon Nature Institute for Coast to Classroom
- Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium for Going Beyond the Bayou
- Louisiana Environmental Education Commission for Louisiana Environmental Literacy Plan
- Foundation for Excellence in Louisiana Public Broadcasting for Electronic Field Trip
- Southeast Louisiana University for Training Future Scientists, Teachers and Families in Coastal Conservation

Project Contact:
Lee Yokel
lyokel@disl.org

K - 20 Mini-grants in Mississippi

The Alliance's Education Team supports environmental education in Mississippi by providing the following K-20 mini-grants:
- Jackson State University for Website for Aquatic Plants
- Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center for Camp Leonardo-Where Science Meets Art
- University of Southern Mississippi GCRL for WETMAAP Gulfwide

Project Contact:
Lee Yokel
lyokel@disl.org

View Website

K - 20 Mini-grants in Texas

The Alliance's Education Team supports environmental education in Texas by providing the following K-20 mini-grants:
- Galveston Bay Foundation for Get Hip to Habitat
- University of Texas Marine Science Institute for Summer Field Science Program
- Texas State Aquarium for Sunset Lake Invaders
- Legacy Land Trust for Know Your Watershed
- Texas Parks & Wildlife for Groundwater to the Gulf
- Colorado River Foundation for River Stewards

Project Contact:
Lee Yokel
Lyokel@disl.org


Environmental Education 4: Economic Value Communication

Action: Include the economic value of Gulf ecosystems in environmental education.

Environmental Education
All Hands "Agenda"
June 27, 2013 - Tampa

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Contact Information

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Priority Issue
Team Chair


Phillip Hinesley
Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources
Phone: 251-621-1216
Email: phillip.hinesley@
dcnr.alabama.gov

Priority Issue
Team Coordinator


Lee Yokel
Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Phone: (251) 861-8201
Email: lyokel@disl.org

John Dindo
Assistant Director
Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Phone: 251-861-7558
Email: jdindo@disl.org

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Environmental Education 1-Pager

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State Leadership

ALABAMA
Phillip Hinesley (PIT Lead)
Coastal Section Chief
ADCNR State Lands
Email: phillip.hinesley@
dcnr.alabama.gov

Phone: (251) 621-1216
Fax: (251) 990-9293

John Dindo
Asst Director, Dauphin Island Sea Lab
Phone: (251) 861-2141
Email: jdindo@disl.org

FLORIDA
Tabitha Whalen Stadler
Coastal Training Coordinator, Rookery Bay NERR
Phone: (239) 417-6310 x209
Email: tabitha.stadler@
dep.state.fl.us

Bridget Washburn
Gulf Alliance Educator, Rookery Bay NERR
Phone: (239) 417-6310 ext.229
Fax: (239)417-6315
Email: bridget.washburn@
dep.state.fl.us

LOUISIANA
Ann Wilson
Program Coordinator for Science
Division of Standards, Assessments, and Accountability
Louisiana Department of Education
Phone: (225) 342-0140
Fax: (225) 342-9891
Email: ann.wilson
@la.gov

Dianne Lindstedt
Marine Education Coordinator
Louisiana Sea Grant College Program
Phone: 225.578.1558
Fax: 225.578.6331
Email: dlindst@lsu.edu

MISSISSIPPI
Sharon Walker
Professor Emeritus, USM
Phone: (228) 872-4211
Email: Sharon.Walker@
usm.edu

TEXAS
Ericka McCauley
Galveston Bay Estuary Program
Phone: 281-486-1246
Email: EMcCaule@
tceq.state.tx.us

Tara Schultz
Director of Science Education
Texas State Aquarium
Phone: (361) 881-1218
Email: tschultz
@txstateaq.org

Federal
Co-facilitators

LaKeshia Robertson
EPA - GMP
Phone: (228) 688-1712
Email: robertson.
lakeshia@epa.gov

Ann Weaver
NOAA - Gulf Coast Services Center
Phone: (228) 688-2061
Email: ann.weaver
@noaa.gov