Gulf of Mexico NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training Program (B-WET)
The Gulf of Mexico NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program is an environmental education program that supports experiential learning through local competitive grant awards in specific geographic regions. Prior to 2008 B-WET Programs were established for the Chesapeake Bay, California, and the Hawaiian Islands. As of 2008, three new programs are in place in New England, the northern Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific Northwest. The Gulf of Mexico is defined as the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.
NOAA recognizes that knowledge and commitment built from firsthand experience, especially in the context of one’s community and culture, is essential for achieving environmental stewardship. Carefully selected experiences driven by rigorous academic learning standards, engendering discovery and wonder, and nurturing a sense of community will further connect students with their watershed, help reinforce an ethic of responsible citizenship, and promote academic achievement. Experiential learning techniques, such as those supported by the NOAA B-WET Program, have been shown to increase interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), thus contributing to NOAA’s obligations under the America Competes Act (33 USC 893a(a)).
Gulf of Mexico Alliance
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is a partnership of the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, with the goal of significantly increasing regional collaboration to enhance the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico. The five U.S. Gulf States have identified six initial priority issues that are regionally significant and can be effectively addressed through increased collaboration at local, state, and federal levels.
- Water quality for healthy beaches and shellfish beds
- Wetland and coastal conservation and restoration
- Environmental education
- Identification and characterization of Gulf habitats
- Reducing nutrient inputs to coastal ecosystems
- Coastal community resiliency
For more information about these regional priorities please visit the NOAA Office of Education B-WET website at: http://www.oesd.noaa.gov/BWET.