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Salish Sea Expeditions gets Boeing grant

Bainbridge Island-based Salish Sea Expeditions has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Boeing Co. to pilot the inclusion of a rehabilitation or restoration project as part of its successful Source watershed research program.

The Source program engages middle and high school students in scientific research in their local watersheds to understand the factors that influence the health of the ecosystem. The two pilot programs will happen in Tacoma-area schools, with students focusing on the Puyallup watershed.

“Boeing is excited to partner with Salish on this new program,” said Shyla Miller, community investor with Boeing’s Global Corporate Citizenship organization. “The program will help restore a troubled watershed and create a new generation of people who understand the link between human activity and the health of an ecosystem.”

Salish’s traditional Source watershed study program engages students in designing and carrying out a scientific research project to investigate the health of their local watershed.

“At the end of many projects, we find the students asking what they can do to make a difference to their watershed’s health,” said Seth Muir, Salish’s executive director. “This seemed like a natural extension of the program, and it helps teachers to meet curriculum standards while engaging students in hands-on learning.”

Salish will partner with the Center for Urban Waters at UW-Tacoma, Foss Waterway Seaport, Taylor Shellfish Farms, Citizens for a Healthy Bay and others to help students design and implement a rehabilitation or restoration project to reduce or mitigate the impact of pollution and other causes of damage to the ecosystem.

While the specific restoration efforts will depend on the outcomes of the students’ research, some possibilities include raingardens, oyster beds, or other filtration systems. The students will be responsible for determining how to measure the impact of the project they choose to implement.

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