“The 300” Wraps up with a Visit to SOC18

CRCL’s new educational program is dubbed the “The 300” partly as a nod to 300th Anniversary of New Orleans, which is becoming more and more a coastal city, and to signify that we are working to inspire Louisiana’s next generation of coastal warriors.

“The 300” gave students unprecedented access to the active coastal restoration sites and the coastal practitioners working to protect and restore our coast. Students and teachers kicked off the program with presentations at The Water Institute of the Gulf and a tour of the LSU Center for River Studies’ Lower Mississippi River Physical Model.

In addition to the kickoff event and the finale at SOC18, the 124 students experienced hands on coastal field trips. They visited the capitol for Louisiana’s annual “Coastal Day at the Legislature,” planted marsh grass at Freshwater Bayou near Vermilion Bay, visited the Surge Barrier in St. Bernard, and rode airboats in Caernarvon.

“During the last three months, students ventured to the front lines of coastal restoration and protection across south Louisiana. Along the way, they gained insights from some of our State’s leading coastal experts and policymakers,” said CRCL Executive Director Kimberly Davis Reyher. “We’ve been so pleased by the interest in the program from across our coast – from Calcasieu to St. Bernard. We are truly inspired to see this depth of interest in the next generation.”

Twenty-two schools and one home school group from 11 parishes have participated. Our coastal land loss crisis will directly affect the ability for these high school students to live and work in coastal Louisiana in the future.

While the situation isn’t good, we wanted to show them there are solutions to the problems Louisiana is facing and highlight potential career paths they could follow in coastal restoration.

“I’ve learned how important it is for our projects to get implemented,” said Zachary High Student Katie Mestayer. “I discovered about all the different careers that are crucial to making these projects happen.”

CRCL hopes that showing these students the challenges coupled with the exciting career opportunities available in the coastal sciences, some participating students will decide to pursue coastal sciences in their post-secondary education or go to work in the fast-growing water sector.

“Throughout the series, we strived to show these students the educational and professional opportunities that exist for them after graduation,” said Reyher. “These students are the future champions of coastal Louisiana. We want to ensure, when the time comes, they are prepared to lead.”

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