Do you remember your first connection to the water? Perhaps it was a family trip to the beach, a friend’s pool, or simply seeing what floated in the tub. Whatever it was, that moment was the beginning of what we call ocean literacy.
For us, ocean literacy comes when kids connect with nature to learn about ocean currents, weather, and team building, alongside traditional STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) concepts.
Community sailing centers and youth experiential education are at the core of our grant program, particularly organizations that give students their first opportunity to spend time near the ocean. The joyful experience of being on and in the water greatly increases kids’ appreciation of local waterways leading to a more engaged and knowledgeable ocean-loving community for years to come.
It also goes beyond a passion for the ocean—many of our grantee programs help students lay the foundation for careers that they may not have imagined without early exposure to the ocean.
Here are some inspiring organizations we have renewed grants with this year.
BLAKE connects students with the environment through snorkeling, walking nature trails, beach cleanups, sailing, and more to inspire action for the ocean in Auckland, New Zealand.
Photo credit: BLAKE
Community Boating Center New Bedford teaches sailing and sustainable aquaculture to public school students and supports alums of the program to become junior instructors in New Bedford, Mass.
Photo credit: Andy Chin / CBCNB
Community Boating Center Providence provides sailing and on-water STEM educational activities and teaches socio-emotional skills to the city’s public school students in Providence, R.I.
Photo credit: CBC Providence
Courageous Sailing engages students for over a decade through summer and school-day programs blending STEM, sailing, environmental advocacy, and social-emotional learning in Boston, Mass. Photo credit: Jack Hutchinson / Courageous Sailing
Hudson River Community Sailing’s Sail Academy provides year-round youth development, academic enrichment, and leadership education through sailing and boatbuilding in New York City, N.Y.
Photo credit: Leigh Beckett
Mariposa DR Foundation aims to end generational poverty by empowering, educating, and employing girls aged 8-18+ with year-round programming in Cabarete, Dominican Republic.
Photo credit: Mariposa DR Foundation
Ocean Discovery Institute’s science and conservation program empowers and encourages students to pursue STEM careers and achieve higher levels of academic success in San Diego, Calif.
Photo credit: Ocean Discovery Institute
Rocking the Boat’s on-water Environmental Science Program engages students in research projects on water quality, oyster restoration, and bird migration data collection and analysis in Bronx, N.Y.
Photo credit: Joaquin Cotten
Header image credit: Leigh Beckett