The Galveston Bay Foundation's Bay Ambassador program introduces youth from K-12 to the natural wonders, resources, and multiple uses of the Galveston Bay watershed. The program's goals are to heighten participants' awareness about the Bay and estuarine environment, increase their knowledge of the local environment and how they affect it, impart a sense of Bay ownership to participants, and encourage youth to weigh the consequences of their actions and make decisions that will help preserve and protect this important natural resource. Relevant information and concepts, dynamic displays, Bay artifacts, classroom demonstrations and a fun slide show are all presented to the audience using a lively, interactive, hands-on approach. Each presentation is tailored to fit the needs of the audience with age, exposure, and interest taken into consideration.
The success of the Bay Ambassador program has enabled GBF to bring a positive environmental message to a broad segment of the population and to begin building a long-term constituency for the Bay. Environmental education programs provide the Galveston Bay Foundation with means to inspire, educate, and involve citizens of all ages in Bay related issues. Working with youth is an investment in this area's future quality of life. The Galveston Bay Foundation believes that education is the critical pathway leading to the development of responsible citizens in our coastal communities.
What do Bay Ambassadors do?
- Provide a large map to help participants orient themselves relative to Galveston Bay
- Gather participants' ideas on ways they can protect habitat and preserve our valuable resources
- Discuss who uses the bay and its waterways
- Provide an activity to learn the concept of salinity, different kinds of water and what events can change it
- Provide an activity to learn the concept of watershed
- Discuss rain run-off, storm drains, point and non-point source pollution (these are shown in a great watershed model)
- Tell younger participants a story
- Present a slide presentation on Galveston Bay
- Share specimens from the bay in a grab bag activity that they can touch and feel