A $2,500 grant from Eastern National was awarded to Salem Maritime National Historic Site to help fund environmental education programs for culturally and economically diverse students from the local area. The programs were enjoyed by 110 youths aged 10-16, encouraging lifelong connections to parks and thoughtful consideration of parks as conduits for natural resource conservation.
A highlight of the program for middle school students from Salem was a boat trip to Baker Island aboard the Naumkeag with Essex Heritage. On the island, students learned about shipwrecks, island history, and light stations through role playing and other interactive activities.
High school students were afforded the rare opportunity to head out on Sea Shuttle’s Endeavor, where they learned about coastal and marine ecology. On one trip students learned how to use underwater cameras and examined organisms from the sea bottom – one student even discovered a female lobster with eggs! Another trip, focused on oceanography, challenged students to use critical thinking to address some of the larger problems facing the Salem Sound, including invasive species, climate change, sea level rise, and storm water runoff.
Photo: Participants in EN grant-funded programs find their park at Salem Maritime NHS. NPS Photo
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