Marine Science & Education: Seaside Sustainability collaborates with local, regional, and national partners and sponsors on multiple projects including marine debris trawls, mudflat acidification testing, evaluation of compostable products in marine environment, coastal cleanups, microplastics assessments, marine debris mapping, and invasive species mitigation.
Blue Technology: In a seamless integration with our local and regional Education and Science division, Seaside Sustainability evaluates and deploys several technologies used in connection to marine debris mitigation. We have two Seabins and a MTS Skimmer in Gloucester Harbor. From April through December, these continuously clean surface debris, including plastics and solidified oils from marine environments. Seaside is an exclusive distributor of Seabins in New England and New York with clients including marinas, cities and towns and educational organizations. Additionally, Seaside has a flying DJI Phantom Drone that is used by a licensed operator to map trends in marine debris and to film field work in process.
Sustainable Art: At the junction between art and sustainability are two local projects: "Goby the Fish" and “Drain smART.” Goby the Fish will be filled with marine debris, serving as social commentary and inspiration to onlookers and beachgoers. In further support, local schools with welding programs are developing their own sculptures, bringing more attention to our growing and harmful influence on beaches, the sea and marine life. Drain smART, a school project engaging classes in painting storm drains using eco-friendly outdoor paints on campus, links the urgency in understanding that what is in the streets finds its way to the ocean. For each of these projects, Seaside plans to create comprehensive “how to guides” and two websites, www.gobyfish.org and www.drain-smart.net in order to proliferate these great projects around the world!
Internship Program: Seaside’s international (virtual and local) internship program is hands-down one of the best! Rooted firmly in education and hands-on learning, there is no doubt why Seaside has 35-55 interns at any given point throughout the year. Having just hired our 320th intern, this program boasts an impressive number of accredited internships in more than 900 colleges and universities around the globe. Interns work on a myriad of projects and programs, in every aspect of the organization from single use plastic legislation, marketing, art projects, events, research, and more. Acceptance for interns is competitive; we hire only one of every six applicants.
Green Scholars: Seaside’s award-winning Project Based Learning course curriculum for middle and high schools is built on the foundation of project management, leadership, and sustainability. Students, guided by educators and the curriculum, undertake a hands-on project that has real-world outcomes that directly benefits the school, district and/or community. For instance, recently schools have instituted projects in outside gardens growing food for the cafeteria, hydroponic and aquaponic systems, moving to trays rather than single use plates, banning single use plastics water bottles, instituting Meatless Mondays, and adopting green cleaning products. The course drives towards the ultimate goal of making schools, districts, cities and towns more sustainable. Seaside’s Executive Director, Eric Magers has trained more than 600 educators across the nation. Several schools using Green Scholars have won the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Award, the highest honor for an educational facility to achieve, and hundreds of students and educators have garnered coveted awards and scholarships for acceptance to premier universities around the world.
Single Use Plastic Legislation: One of Seaside’s many projects is promoting disposable plastic bans in local communities. These bans help communities reduce their disposable plastic consumption, especially the consumption of single use items which can easily end up polluting the environment and our oceans. Seaside works together with local school groups and town or city officials; thus far, our collective work has legislated successful disposable plastic bans in several communities, Rockport being one of the most comprehensive in the country. Seaside sees community education as a crucial part of generating support for plastic bans. Informing citizens about the dangers of plastic pollution and plastic use - while providing them with information on convenient alternatives - is essential for gaining support from business owners. To empower other communities to champion bans, we put together a guide to planning and implementing a successful disposable plastic ban. This How to Plan a Single Use Plastic Ban Guide leads interested organizations, clubs and individuals through the complex process of conducting a disposable plastic ban. It includes information we collected and used in Seaside’s work on successful disposable plastic bans and will help people legislating plastic bans/restrictions all around the globe! We are also working with our international interns in providing them a platform to write letters to their local legislators on issues that are important for them and those which align with Seaside’s priorities. Interns are guided through a process to writer letters pertaining to climate change, single use plastics mitigation, and environmental education.
📷National STEM Honor Society (NSTEM): In collaboration with a cohort of regional and national partners, Seaside has launched a premier honor society for STEM education, the National STEM Honor Society. NSTEM meets the needs of the growing STEM education movement by recognizing student achievement in academic scholarship and leadership growth. One of NSTEM’s principal goals is to highlight the nation’s underserved and diverse populations by actively incorporating partnerships, Advisory Council members, resources and opportunities directly targeting underserved populations across the country. NSTEM provides a platform for hands-on learning, offering educators and students a meaningful recognition program and resources that showcase student STEM achievements. Chapters can be formed From K to Career in elementary, middle, high school and college; chapters can also be formed by organizations in communities where the local schools are unable to host a chapter. Through a comprehensive marketing campaign, the NSTEM team is actively spreading awareness of the program across the nation! nstem.org