Why Education?

"If you think a year later, plant a seed.
If you think a decade later, plant a tree.
If you are thinking a century later,
educate people. "

- Chinese poem

A UNIQUE POWER

When we come face to face with the pressing challenges facing our oceans, environmental education has a unique power to overcome these immense problems by changing the way society thinks about and treats the environment. Environmental education inspires people to make changes towards a sustainable future by equipping them with the necessary tools to make informed decisions about their environment, actions and impact.

WHAT IS ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION?

Defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as "a process that allows people to explore environmental issues, participate in the resolution of problems and 

take measures to improve the environment, "environmental education first emerged in the 1960s as a response to the threatening environmental crises facing the United States at that time. Environmental education has remained a relevant aspect of both education and environmental efforts, and with the monumental challenges facing society due to anthropogenic climate change, environmental education is now more important than ever. people will have the ability to: first, think critically when dealing with environmental situations, second, make informed decisions about those situations, and, finally, have the ability to act, both individually and collectively, in a way that not only sustains, but that also improves, the natural environment. In essence, environmental education is interdisciplinary and focuses on values, attitudes, ethics and actions.

 

NOW MORE THAN EVER

As noted above, the need for environmental education is more important in today's world than ever before. With respect to the marine environment, the challenges of sustainability that lie ahead threaten not only our homes and our food supply, but also the very ecosystems and ecosystem services that make the Earth a habitable place for humanity. As such, it is imperative that all of society, not just the few conscious, adapt and learn to address current sustainability concerns and take measures to ensure the prevention of future challenges. Undoubtedly, environmental education plays a fundamental role in this.

 

AN IMPACTFUL TOOL

There are countless studies that have shown that the understanding of environmental problems facilitated by environmental education leads to "pro-environmental" behavior. This is due to the obvious fact that learning about the environment leads to individuals who not only value, but also feel concern for the natural environment and, consequently, the people who wish to protect it. Environmental education, therefore, can pave the way for solutions to many of the environmental problems facing our society.

 

FOR THE OCEANS, IN PARTICULAR

Environmental education is particularly relevant to ocean problems due to the inherent darkness of the ocean. Much of ocean life exists out of reach below the surface and is inaccessible to the vast majority of people. Education about the ocean and the marine environment can familiarize students with life below the surface and open their eyes to the importance of the ocean.

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Saltwater Classroom is an innovative approach to environmental education that harnesses the power of our technologically connected world to spur an ethic of global stewardship for the oceans in today's youth.

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