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Protect The Mariners’ Lake for future generations. 

The Mariners’ Environmental Co-op (B-WET Awardee) In July 2021, The Mariners’ Museum and Park was awarded the coveted NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) grant to provide meaningful watershed educational experiences (MWEE’s) for 4,500 Newport News Public Schools 9th-grade students over the next three years, through the Mariners’ Environmental Co-op.

Throughout the project period, students will lead restoration projects on Mariners’ Lake helping to improve its health and preserve it for future generations, problem-solving around emerging environmental challenges while developing and implementing action projects for their respective school communities.

What is B-WET? 

B-WET (bay watershed education and training) is a NOAA funded environmental program for K-12 students that focuses on hands-on, place-based watershed learning. The program additionally supports up to 30 hours of teacher professional development for local participating teachers. 

B-WET utilizes the learner-led and inquiry-based framework of a meaningful watershed educational experience (MWEE). MWEEs are intended to lead students to be informed on local environmental issues and contribute to solutions in the community. 

Youth-led action projects during the school year empower our students to be part of a change in our watershed while promoting life-long stewardship of our environmental resources.  

NNPS TV – This Just IN:
May 2022: James River Association and Mariners’ Museum were featured.

Group of students watch demonstration of how to plant eelgrass.
Student prepares eelgrass for planting by inserting the plant into coconut fiber.
Students take temperature of water sample from Mariners' Lake.

The Mariners’ B-WET Grant Project 

The Mariners’ Environmental Co-op works with Newport News Public Schools 9th-grade Environmental Science students and teachers to grow and plant native eelgrass (Vallisneria americana) in Mariners’ Lake. Mariners’ Lake is a part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Eelgrass in the Lake will help improve water quality through substrate stabilization and increased oxygen production. The long-term goal is to send improved water into the James River, and by extension, the rest of the watershed. 

During this program, students and teachers learn ways to protect our fragile watershed, and are empowered to become leaders of community solutions. A unique student-led action project caps off the experience which can help to foster a sense of stewardship with our students. Supporting student academic achievement and their understanding of the Chesapeake Bay through hands-on experiences that demonstrate environmental stewardship as an individual responsibility.

The B-WET program combines critical classroom skills, hands-on outdoor experiences at the high school level, and the goal of sustainable MWEE integration for all 9th grade students in Newport News Public Schools. Participation in The Mariners’ Environmental Co-op increased teachers’ and students’ understanding of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and how humans impact the health and sustainability of this important estuary.

Thank you to our partners

The Mariners’ Environmental Co-op is successful because of the contributions from our partners–from the Newport News Public School curriculum leaders and environmental science teachers, to regionall environmental experts and professionals–we are humbled and grateful for your support.. 

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