Citizen Science at Work in Your Communities
From the beginning, we knew we wanted Nature’s Academy to be an active force in earth stewardship, taking our textbook learning and applying it to make changes in the communities we live in. Part of our philosophy plays out in our work contributing to the Citizen Science database every time we take students into the field.
Last year, students on Nature’s Academy field trips removed nearly 1,000 pounds of trash from shorelines in Manatee County. We collected this data and reported it to Keep Manatee Beautiful, who then used our data to make decisions about how to fix trash problems in the county. Our data, along with others, showed them the most abundant litter is cigarette butts. Using this data to identify the solution, Keep Manatee Beautiful and Manatee County placed “Butt Cans” on the beach. Hopefully, people will use the cans to dispose of their cigarette butts!
So, this year, we will continue to collect trash data to determine if we see a decline in cigarette butts on the beach. Again, we’ll report all of our findings to local agencies like Keep Manatee Beautiful—and we get the added bonus of showing our Nature’s Academy kids that they CAN make a difference!