News Releases from Region 04
Board of School Commissioners of Mobile County receives $260,440 to Promote Stewardship and Increase Environmental Literacy
ATLANTA – The U.S. EPA Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that the Board of School Commissioners of Mobile County has received a $260,440 cooperative agreement for the project “Half-Shell High School: Development of Sustainable Seafood Community Workforce using Off-Bottom Oyster Farming.” Julian R. Stewart, Jr., Aquaculture Teacher, Board of School Commissioners of Mobile County, will provide leadership for this project.
Through this project, high school students will receive formal training and hands–on experience in off-bottom oyster farming methods in an effort to provide a sustainable alternative to traditional oyster harvesting. Upon completion of projection participation, Board of School Commissioners of Mobile County expects to provide opportunities for students to start their own off-bottom oyster farm, to offer internships for students desiring to work on commercial farms, to afford training for employment on restoration projects and careers in the marine science.
“For the past four years, Alma Bryant High School in southwest coastal Alabama, has been working to develop an oyster farming/restoration program for students and community members. The project called “Half-Shell High School”, will provide formal training and hands-on experience in off-bottom farming methods in an effort to provide a sustainable alternative to traditional oyster harvesting. Participants will learn all aspects of oyster aquaculture from spawning and setting to grow-out and harvest. The project will also use off-bottom growing methods to produce oysters that will be used in restoration efforts in the area. The primary outcome will be opportunities for participants to gain experience and employment at off-bottom oyster farms, start their own sustainable off-bottom oyster farm, provide training for employment on restoration projects, and training towards careers in the marine sciences” said Julian Stewart, Aquaculture Teacher.
“We’re excited to be part of a project that helps students understand the importance of the environment and its direct connection to their hometown oyster industry,” said Ben Scaggs, Director, EPA-Gulf of Mexico Program.
This cooperative agreement will further the strategic goals and objectives of Gulf of Mexico Program and lead to a healthy and prosperous ecosystem.
For more information about the Gulf of Mexico Program, please visit our web site at https://www.epa.gov/gulfofmexico.
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