Climate Resiliency Programs
Due to the large geographic area being covered under this proposal, several partners are needed to collaborate on the design and implementation of the Climate Resilient Youth Leader & Climate Resiliency Fellowship trainings. Mount Rainier Institute, Gray’s Harbor College and Mount2Sound Adventures will each serve as a host to these regional academies focused on building communities of informed and active youth. The Capitol Land Trust, Nisqually Land Trust and Chehalis River Basin Land Trust will grant access to their land for student leaders to plan and implement Action Projects for Community Resiliency.
Climate Resiliency Youth Leaders
The Pacific Northwest Climate Leaders Campaign will train 140 students over a 3 year period through Student Leadership courses in coordination with our project partners named above. Trainings will be grounded in ocean, coastal, and climate science, creating environmentally literate students. These Climate Resiliency Youth Leaders will become ambassodors in their schools and communities for the cause of sustainably protecting our natural resources, as well as finding solutions to deal with future climate change impacts.
Year 1: CBEC will host an Ocean CRYLP at Grays Harbor College — focused on science, stewardship and service. In this five-week program, 20 local youth age 14-16 will work on developing leadership and job skills, and gain experience in environmental education, science, natural resources management and communication skills. Activities will include team building, introduction to marine science and hydrologic cycle, ecosystem health indicators, non-point source pollution, micro-plastics, scientific measurements, instruments and sampling, and charts, maps and marine spatial planning. Students will join NOAA scientists and other local watershed partners and researchers to utilize Grays Harbor Historical Seaport ships and equipment to conduct “real” field research in their own “local” waters.
The Mount Rainier Institute was created by the Mount Rainier National Park and the University of Washington to provide students with in-depth, multi-day programs focused on science education. Just like our Eye On Nature field trips, the institute focuses on engaging students using with the outdoors. They offer a wide range of classes in outdoor ecology and conservation.
Climate Resiliency Fellowship
The Pacific Northwest Climate Leaders Campaign will train 75 teachers through the Climate Resiliency Fellowship program, in turn connecting with their 1,875 students over a 3 year period. The Nisqually River Foundation already has the Summer Teacher’s Institute program in place, and will now use this unique 3-day training to incorporate the themes of each year during our NOAA grant.
Year 1: Oceans, Ocean Acidification, & Sea Level Rise (June 2016) Visits to the Chehalis River Surge Plain, the largest intact surge plain in Washington State, and the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge river delta will highlight NOAA’s habitat conservation program, recognizing the value of 3 estuaries and salt marshes to sequester carbon, known as Coastal Blue Carbon Areas. Despite restoration efforts, the Nisqually delta is still at risk from sea level rise, as tides are encroaching higher, at a rate faster than sediment deposition can keep up with. We will visit Washaway Beach, which experiences the most rapid erosion on the U.S. Pacific Coast at 100 feet a year, affecting homes, highways and cranberry production. Taholah on the Quinault Reservation has recently drafted a plan to move the entire village off of its historical location, away from the encroaching ocean and Quinault River. We will visit Taylor Shellfish Farm, which sees increased acidity of seawater impeding shellfish growth. Their hatchery has begun treating incoming water to maintain the optimum pH and carbonate chemistry for their oysters.
Year 2: Mountains, Glaciers, Forests and Freshwater (June 2017) In November 2006, Mt. Rainier
National Park received 18” of rain in 36 hours. 200 yards of road and more than ⅔ of the Sunshine Point Campground were destroyed by this extreme weather event. Mt. Rainier is also home to the Nisqually Glacier, one of the most studied glaciers in the lower 48 states. It is currently shrinking at an alarming rate, 3 ft+/10 days, threatening long-term freshwater supply. We will visit both these sites to show current impacts of climate change. Significant restoration sites will provide hope for our communities including Ohop Creek (Pierce County).
Through the institute and the online campaign we will support teachers in increasing the environmental literacy of both themselves and their students. Our website houses various resources that tie into NOAA Climate, Ocean, and Estuary Literacy Principles and the Next Generation Science Standards.