While tabling this past weekend at the Green Festival, I was surprised and inspired by the number of young activists who stopped to chat with us.
Countless times I’d look out into the aisle to see some young person’s eyes light up. Then, they’d come over and say, “Save The Bay!” enthusiastically. I’d ask how they knew us, and invariably they’d tell me that they went on a field trip with our restoration staff, or participated in our science-based restoration curriculum through their school, or attended one of our public restoration programs.
Back in 1961 our founders lived the principles of grassroots organizing, and subscribed to the belief that every individual can make a difference. We created our restoration education programs for middle and high schools in 2011 to ensure that the younger generation would be inspired to protect our precious Bay. That’s why it’s so great having these conversations with young people.
I talked to a number of students who participated in our Restoration Education Programs in high school and middle school. They are in college now and working actively on their campuses to encourage fellow students to become environmental stewards—from educating campus smokers on the impact of tobacco litter on our waterways, to encouraging campus colleagues to adopt reusable bags, water bottles, and coffee mugs.
Some of these young people asked me if we do tidal marsh restoration programs for college age students and wondered how they could continue to be involved with Bay issues.
Here are a few ideas. We hope you’ll share these with anybody you know who wants to protect and restore the Bay for future generations.