CBA – “Grasses in Classes” Comes to Butler Elementary School

The yellow school busses pull into the parking lot at Charles E. Cessna Landing in Walton County. Brakes hiss and doors squeal open and the excited chatter of children goes from muted to a dull roar. Third grade students from Butler Elementary School leap to the ground, making a bee-line toward their teachers, who herd…

CBA – Grasses in Classes: 2018-2019 Recap

May was Grasses in Classes field trip month for the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance! Nearly every day, CBA staff and AmeriCorps team members met 3rd and 5th graders across the Choctawhatchee Bay to plant smooth cordgrass and participate in fun, educational nature games. CBA’s Grasses in Classes is a hands-on, environmental education program that gives students a direct…

CBA – St. Joe Community Foundation Funds High School Oyster Program

To engage area youth in oyster restoration, the St. Joe Community Foundation is granting the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA) $18,300 to bring their Spat On! program to 250 high school students in Walton County. In addition to providing monthly instruction and in-class lessons to foster understanding of oyster ecology and estuarine habitat, CBA will work…

CBA – Students Study the Coast

The Seaside Neighborhood School students stepped off the bus to Inlet Beach, surrounded by dunes and facing the beautiful aquamarine of the Gulf of Mexico. To start their yearlong Dunes in Schools program, the seventh graders plant the very sea oats that other students raised the year before, beginning a new cycle of environmental education and…

CBA: May Field Trips

CBA organized and facilitated 20 field trips for 18 elementary schools in Okaloosa and Walton Counties to bring 3rd and 5th graders to the shores of the Choctawhatchee Bay. A culmination of the year-long Grasses in Classes curriculum, the students planted smooth cordgrass they have raised since October of 2017 to create brand new living shorelines that both reduce…

LTER Road Trip: The Georgia Coastal Ecosystem Schoolyard Program

A summer’s night had fallen on Sapelo Island, Georgia. Despite the coastal breeze, the air remained humid and sticky, the buzz of insects singing an evening chorus. The island was more crowded than normal. In addition to the usual researchers, graduate students, and interns, a group of K-12 teachers had gathered for a week-long immersion…

Coastal Angler – Grasses in Classes

The first time I met Brittany Tate, Education Coordinator at the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA), she was knee-deep in the Choctawhatchee Bay, surrounded by a group of students from the Silver Sands School and AmeriCorps members. We stood at the edge of Ross Marler Park on Okaloosa Island, in the middle of a Grasses in…

Duke Nicholas School – Lifelong Learning

Tuesdays are busy for me this semester. In between my regular work tasks, I tune in for “Social Media for Environmental Communications” from the Duke Executive Education Program, take a break, then drive to the University of West Florida for back to back “Academic Strategies” and “Strategic Communication.” By the end of the evening, five hours…

Duke Nicholas School – Restoration and Education

The kids jumped out of the bright yellow bus one by one, landing on the ground with a sharp thwack and scurrying over to the grass of Mattie Kelly Park in Destin, Florida, waiting for the rest of their friends. The bus would take two groups of students that day from their summer programs at the Boys…