Drake OCEANS eNewsletterTwo of TIRN’s major missions are to educate people about how they can help save marine mammals and better the environment.

These two goals came together recently when dozens of Marin County, CA high school students visited TIRN headquarters to learn more about our work on the environment and when 150 elementary students visited an ocean-going research vessel in Galveston, Texas.

Educating students on Marin’s natural habitats for coho salmon was the goal of a recent field trip Drake High School students in San Anselmo. They visited TIRN headquarters in West Marin to study ecological restoration and flood plain ecosystems.

“Students literally got their hands dirty by digging up the noxious plants.” ~ SPAWN Education Specialist Catie Clune

One economics and two environmental classes used the field trip to learn about the economic value of ecosystem services. For example, one mile  of flood plain will filter as much water as a water treatment plant for a small city, like Monterey, every year.

They walked along San Geronimo Creek to see ongoing restoration areas. San Geronimo Creek has the largest remaining wild run of the endangered coho salmon in central California.
The Oppe Elementary school children visited Gulf Coast Turtle Island Restoration Network’s Campaign Director Joanie Steinhaus. They had a rare opportunity to board and tour the R/V MANTA research vessel. The R/V MANTA is a working research vessel that belongs to Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

“The kids had a great time learning about the different ways people can help protect the beach and wetland areas around us. They learned how researchers gather information.” ~ Nicole Morrow, Oppe second grade teacher.

“This is the best field trip ever!” ~ Oppe student

The children learned about research underway at the Flower Garden National Marine Sanctuary, and the impact of plastic marine debris and non-point source pollution on endangered sea turtles.

And they learned they can each have an impact on the amount of trash entering the ocean, through simple acts like saying no to a drinking straw, and using a reusable cup.