Georgia’s coast is known for beautiful beaches, diverse habitat, and ecological importance. Like many coastal areas across the globe, coastal populations are rising. With that rise in human activity often comes a rise in pollution and negative human impact on the fragile ecosystem. With that in mind, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC) is implementing a Marine Debris program targeting both younger and older individuals in our community to make a difference. The first part of the program involves educating the children of the Georgia coast. The GSTC will offer outreach programs to 51 classrooms during which staff will present the Standards based program Garbage in the Water to 1,000 students. The education of children in the fight against marine debris is critical. These young individuals make important decisions every day that affect our environment. The second part of the program involves the creation of a Citizen Science program. Using the NOAA/ SEA-MDI Marine Debris Tracker App, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center current center volunteers, community residents, and island guests will perform beach cleanups along the coast. Using materials gained from this grant, they will plot the location and type of marine debris found in and around the coastal area and upload that to the SEA-MDI website. In addition to the benefit of having less Marine Debris, involving community members will allow them to take greater pride in their coastal environment, gain experience with science and technology and show the importance of keeping our beaches clean.
Project Contact: Jeannie Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Project website: http://gstc.jekyllisland.com/stewardship/marine-debris-initiative/