Coral Reef Ed-Ventures

Organization

Smith College students in cooperation with the Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Coral Reef Ed-Ventures is a marine environmental education program conducted by Smith College students in cooperation with the Hol Chan Marine Reserve for the youth and community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef lies less than one kilometre offshore from San Pedro and is a vital source of storm protection and economic livelihood for the community.

Our program for schoolchildren is activity based and designed to increase awareness of the environmental and economic benefits of conserving and sustaining healthy marine ecosystems, from barrier reef to back reef to coastal mangrove environments.

Glass-bottom boat trip: one of the favorite Coral Ed activities, as most children in San Pedro have not visited the reef previously.

To accomplish our goals, the Coral Ed student-teacher team conducts a two-week summer “youth camp” for local schoolchildren ages 7 through 11, and a similar, more advanced one-week camp for older children, many of whom are graduates of the youth camp. In addition, the team interacts with the local community to advance appreciation for the invaluable marine resources of the region.

A favorite activity: Coral Ed students & teacher study marine life with microscope.

Summer 2018 marked the 19th year of Smith College Coral Reef Ed-Ventures in San Pedro. We will be celebrating our 20-year Anniversary in San Pedro this coming summer, and plans are already underway to make this a very special and memorable Coral Ed year!

Coral Ed youth camp graduation – there were 51 “graduates” in 2018.

 

Submitted by: Dana Vera & Emiline Koopman, Coral Ed-Ventures team co-leaders, and David Smith, Denise Lello, and Allen Curran, Smith College Coral Reef Ed-Ventures Faculty Advisers, Northampton, Massachusetts, USA