The International SeaKeepers Society took 13 children from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County onboard the DISCOVERY Yacht Defiance in August 2014. Scientists from SeaKeepers and Massasoit Community College led the outreach activities.
The program began at the Newport Shipyard with a presentation by Clean Ocean Access about ways the children can become involved in local efforts to keep the ocean and beaches clean and accessible to all. Participants then decorated the sails of a coastal drifter constructed and provided by Jim Manning and his student-built drifter program. The drifter will be launched off the coast of New England later this fall, and used to study local surface currents and supply data to NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System.
The program continued onboard Defiance as the scientists, children and camp counselors traveled through Newport Harbor for a lesson on ocean health and plastic pollution. The scientists explained the hazards of plastic pollution in the form of plastic microbeads, which are found in many face washes and toothpastes. The children examined plankton, plastic microbeads and plastic pollution in water samples collected from the ocean and New England harbors.
This outreach trip included six educators dedicated to ocean conservation efforts including, SeaKeepers Director of Programs & Policies, Angela Rosenberg; Professor of Earth Science at Massasoit Community College, Melany McFadden; DISCOVERY Yachts member and Co-Owner and Founder of Global Oceans, Claudia Potamkin; Co-Owner and Founder of Global Oceans, Captain Sandra Yawn; Founder of Ports of Cause, Joyce Clear; and Dave McLaughlin, Co-Founder
and Executive Director of Clean Ocean Access.