LA Waterkeeper Presents at Santa Monica High School

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Last week, Biology and Marine Biology students at Santa Monica High School had their classes shaken up, and it wasn’t just because of the schools’ earthquake drill. Five classes were taken over for one day to learn what it means to be a part of LA Waterkeeper. I have been visiting Santa Monica High School classes every year since I came on board as an Outreach Coordinator here at LA Waterkeeper. I present to the students about what we do, highlighting specific topics like Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), kelp forest ecology, and the struggles of the California sea otter. I encourage the students to get involved with projects including MPA Watch, the MPA Photo Contest, and the Kelp Restoration Project for scuba divers.

This year, Santa Monica High School teacher and leader of the schools’ Team Marine club, Ben Kay,  awarded LA Waterkeeper a $150 donation from the school for our efforts!

More than just being a part of my job, I find myself enjoying the times I spend presenting my work and the work of my colleagues.  When I see the excited smile of a teenager who can’t wait to get out on our MPA Watch boat trip, it makes me feel like a kid again, eager and excited to learn about my natural surroundings. The students at Santa Monica High School really reacted to the Kelp Project, and found it very interesting how our team of volunteer scuba divers are thinning the urchin population to save our kelp forest. They were ready to get in the water and help us do it! I love when students who are already interested in science and the environment discover that there is so much going on right in their backyard, and that they can be a part of it. Being able to share my passions and actually see how LA Waterkeeper is instilling passion in future generations is truly special. One day soon it will be the students that I presented to taking over these same projects that I am talking to them about.

If you would like LA Waterkeeper to come and give presentations to your school or group, feel free to email me agruen@lawaterkeeper.org

-Amanda Gruen, MPA Outreach Coordinator

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