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EarthEcho International Launches Adventure-Inspired Educational Tools

EarthEcho International Launches Adventure-Inspired Educational Tools

Philippe Cousteau, Jr.’s non- profit organization EarthEcho International has released a collection of standard-aligned educational materials and documentary videos for teachers to use in their classroom.

EarthEcho International’s resources follow the organization on its second youth expedition, EarthEcho Expedition: Beyond the Dead Zone, according to a press release.

“In September 2014, Cousteau led scientists, researchers and students from South Florida and Latin America on an expedition to explore how human-driven development and agriculture have impacted Southern Florida’s unique natural ecosystems,” the release said.

According to the release, the expedition began in Central Florida, where the team “studied the impact that nutrient-rich agricultural runoff has on the Everglades and innovative improvements made through natural resource management. The release downstream, the Expedition dove with marine biologists on the coral reefs of Biscayne Bay to explore how climate change and ocean acidification poses a threat to coral reef ecosystems.”

“The goal of each EarthEcho Expedition is to inspire and empower youth around the world with the knowledge and tools to take an active role in protecting critical natural resources in their own communities,” explained Cousteau. “The waters of South Florida are a sanctuary for abundant species of fish and invertebrates; it provided our Expedition with the opportunity to show how the smallest changes in water quality can have devastating consequences for corals and other shell-forming creatures.”

According to the release, "The EarthEcho Expedition: Beyond the Dead Zone classroom resources include the following:

  • Documentary Style Educational Videos hosted by Philippe Cousteau that explore the impacts of agricultural runoff on the Everglades, and the connection to water quality and coral reef health downstream.
  • STEM Career Close-up Videos featuring marine biologist Ilsa Kuffner of the U.S. Geological Survey and research scientist Lou Toth of the South Florida Water Management District.
  • Service Learning in Action Videos detail how groups of young people are taking action to mitigate environmental issues in South Florida. Students at Rockway Middle School in Miami, FL, grew corals to learn about the critical ecosystem services that the reefs provide off Florida’s coast. Through an exchange program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and World Learning Inc., Ecuadorian, Colombian, and Peruvian youth worked with South Florida Water Management District scientists to restore a section of the roughly 60,000 acres of Stormwater Treatment Areas.
  • Standards Aligned Lesson Plans and activities that explain science concepts explored during the Expedition, including the urban water cycle and ocean acidification.
  • Action Guides for teachers and students to help solve environmental issues in their own communities, including EarthEcho's RainCheck Action Guide, which includes stormwater audit tools, schoolyard mapping and other resources to help youth manage stormwater in their greater community.

Those interested can sign up here

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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