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SoundWaters - Educational Programs

Contact Info

Name: Dianne Selditch


Educating the community about environmental protection


In order to bring home the concept of sustainability, SoundWaters features the horseshoe crab in all its education programs, for both children and adults. The creature has been around since the age of the dinosaurs and speaks directly to the importance of protecting marine waters and habitats in order to continue its survival. Fortunately, the horseshoe crab lives and mates in the waters of nearby Long Island Sound, although populations have severely diminished. In addition to school-based programming, SoundWaters recruits volunteers from Stamford and nearby towns to help with the annual census and tagging of horseshoe crabs. The tagging helps scientists determine the travel and movement patterns of the animal, which are not well understood. To recruit volunteers, SoundWaters sends flyers to local schools and organizations; sends out information on environmental email distribution lists; and offers training sessions at its Coastal Center. The activity requires that individuals go to the shoreline or into the water in waders and boots during mating season in late spring and summer. This immediate, hands-on connection to the species is very powerful in helping demonstrate that environmental sustainability has real consequences for living creatures and that protection of these animals demands that humans act responsibly. The lesson from this activity is that people are drawn to other living things and finding a signature creature in a community can help promote other sustainability initiatives.

SoundWaters Business & Environment Speaker Series takes place in Stamford, CT, at the Stamford Branch of the University of Connecticut and in large meeting rooms of our corporate partners. A committee of corporate volunteers, in partnership with SoundWaters, meets monthly to decide on an annual theme, topics and speakers for the programs. During the past decade, the focus has changed from possibility to reality. For example, this year, the theme is "The Future is Here," with programs on electric cars, energy audits, and corporations that have installed distributed generation systems and others that have implemented sustainability practices and policies. The series, which is sponsored by our corporate partners, including Connecticut Light & Power, Purdue Pharma, Sikorsky Aircraft, and UBS, is free to the public and includes light lunch or refreshments. The programs run from September - June, and we usually have the full schedule established by early fall of each season. Information is sent to local and state environmental list-serves as well as a Constant Contact email list. SoundWaters takes reservations and makes nametags, which contributes to networking. Each program attracts 50 - 100 attendees, representing corporations, developers, building trades, public land use and conservation officials, environmental organizations, land trusts, and area residents. Through these programs, our attendees are becoming more engaged, able to understand complex sustainability issues, and ready to take action. For example, several attendees at our program on energy audits scheduled audits for their own homes. The programs are informative and topical and judging from responses, well received.

About "Protecting Long Island Sound Through Education"

Protecting Long Island Sound Through Education

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