Waterborne Education Center receives $23K grant

ANAHUAC – The Waterborne Education Center (WEC) was awarded a grant, valued at close to $23,000, from the Galveston Bay Estuary Program (GBEP), a program of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), to fund the outreach projects promoting WEC activities in 2008 and 2009.
Federal funding for the grant was provided through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
WEC’s outreach director Amy Hill said these funds will be used to support promotion of the on-the-water field lab program through events such as information booth at local and statewide science teacher conferences, such as the recent Mini-Conference for the Advancement of Science Teachers in Orange and the Texas Gator Fest in Anahuac.
Funds will also support a teacher workshop and two VIP field labs, website renovations, a year of WEC newsletters and related outreach supplies.

“Without this program, many potential passengers might never know of this great educational opportunity,” Hill said. “With the help of GBEP, we will be able to reach out to more Texans to spread the word about the great things going on in Anahuac and the Galveston Bay System.”
WEC programming implements the GBEP Public Participation and Education Action Plan. Like GBEP, the WEC works “to establish effective, ongoing public involvement with Galveston Bay resource management efforts at all levels; to improve future stewardship through education of students and the adult public concerning the bay ecosystem; and to invoke the public commitment and political will necessary to achieve effective comprehensive management.”
The Galveston Bay Plan states, “In an era of severe constraints on both governmental and private sector funding, an educated and motivated public can provide much of the needed expertise, time, effort, and leadership to protect and monitor the bay.” The WEC agrees, and seeks to provide the education the public requires to serve the needs of the bay.
This program introduces coastal residents, many for the first time, to the coastal resources they are expected to protect.
The WEC’s mission is to foster appreciation and stewardship of coastal resources, heritage and culture by providing hands-on waterborne education services.
The WEC provides custom field labs for groups interested in area ecology, wetlands and wildlife observation, Texas history, nature art and any other topic the group believes can be addressed through WEC services. This program provides a bridge between classroom facts and real world applications of coastal resources’ functions and values, and fosters environmental stewardship. It is an ideal middle and high school science field trip. TAKS-aligned curriculum is available for 8th grade science classes.
To schedule a WEC field lab, contact Jo Ann Baird at (409) 267-3547 or joannbaird@ih2000.net. For more information about the WEC, visit the website: www.txwaterborne.org.