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May 2010 - Gonzales provides assistance at Girl Scouts event
May 2010 - Port Lavaca club tours Texas State University
April 2010 - Matamoros SSC participates in Earth Day fair
April 2010 - Brownsville students plant trees near school
April 2010 - Clubs represent greater Gulf ecosystem in parade
March 2010 - Trash Parade becomes parade inside of parade
March 2010 - Sinton, Corpus clubs clean up Lighthouse Lakes
March 2010 - GMF develops bilingual mangrove information
March 2010 - Students meet US Forest Service mascots
March 2010 - SSCN students proclaim World Seagrass Day
Feb 2010 - SSCN gains partners at Whooping Crane event
Feb 2010 - SSCN follows 'whoopers' from Texas to Canada
Feb 2010 - Students join Winter Texans in advocacy group
Nov 2009 - Students conduct bayfront clean up, meet mayor
Nov 2009 - Club runs recycle booth at Shrimp Cook-Off
Oct 2009 - SSCN recieves 2009 Gulf Guardian Awards
Oct 2009 - SSCN focuses on beach clean ups in October
Sept 2009 - Clubs help with GLO state-wide beach clean up
Sept 2009 - Port Lavaca raises funds for whooping crane
May 2009 - SSCN connects employers with homegrown talent
April 2009 - South Texas SSCN organizes parade, cleanup
April 2009 - Walmart donates $1,000 to GMF's SSCN
Feb 2009 - Trash Parade held in conjunction with Adopt-A-Beach
Feb 2009 - Club participates in Crab Trap Removal program
Dec 2008 - Texas Parks & Wildlife makes $5,000 donation
Dec 2008 - Clubs visit Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
Nov 2008 - Grant assigns SSCN six tasks to complete
Nov 2008 - Port Isabel club teams up with Artist Boat in event
Oct 2008 - GMF's SSCN hosts career fair in Port Lavaca
Oct 2008 - Clubs join Audubon to clean bird habitat
Oct 2008 - Clubs clean shoreline, attend Kayak Expo
Oct 2008 - Bay City/El Campo clubs take part in Rice Festival
Oct 2008 - Port Lavaca students tour local water canal
Oct 2008 - Students reach out to local Vietnamese community
Oct 2008 - Brownsville club starts school recycling program
Sept 2008 - Port Lavaca students recreate local watershed
Sept 2008 - Clubs run booth at Bayfest 2008 in Corpus Christi
Sept 2008 - Clubs participate in fall cleanup at Redfish Bay
Aug 2008 - Phytoplankton specialist visits SSCN classroom
May 2008 - Leadership event includes international component
April 2008 - Students celebrate earth and water on Earth Day
Feb 2008 - Clubs march in parade, clean beach, restore marsh
Feb 2008 - GMF SSCN creates first Ecology = Economy Week
Feb 2008 - Palacios clubs create 'river dragon' for parade
Jan 2008 - Message-in-a-bottle experiments teach students
Dec 2007 - Clubs tour lakes, learn first hand about watersheds
Nov 2007 - South Texas clubs participate in trash clean-up
Sept 2007 - Coastal Bend clubs clean up, learn at Matagorda
Sept 2007 - Clubs clean up Lighthouse Lakes Park, more
May 2007 - 3M Corporation presents check to S&S; Club
Feb 2007 - S&S; Club organizes two-town Trash Parade
Gonzales provides assistance at Girl Scouts event
GMF's Richard Gonzales wears a hat made from reusable newspaper at the Girl Scouts of South Texas "Forever Green" event
held in May.
May 2010 - GMF SSCN Project
Coordinator Richard Gonzales provided coastal
environmental education outreach assistance to the South Texas Girl Scout
Council during the "Forever Green" event held May 8 in Corpus Christi. This new
collaboration is part of the preparation for the Girl
Scout's centennial celebration set for March 12, 2012, for
which all troops will prepare an environmental project. Girl
Scout Troops have
participated in SSCN events in Port Isabel, Corpus Christi and Aransas Pass,
Port Lavaca club tours Texas
Port Lavaca SSC members
visit Texas State University in San Marcos.
May 2010 - The Port
Lavaca SSC traveled with 38 students up the Guadalupe River
watershed to San Marcos on May 25 to Texas State University.
Students toured the campus and learned about possible
careers from receiving a college education. “These students
really need to have a college campus exposure to make it
more real for them to make a higher education decision,”
said Sherrie Krause, faculty sponsor. “There was a lot of
discussion on science careers, but the focus was on the
college experience like financial aid and dormitory
lifestyle,” she added. The Port Lavaca SSC has been
exploring and studying the Guadalupe watershed for seven
years. The sixth graders who first started this watershed
experience were members of the graduating class of 2010.
Matamoros SSC participates in Earth Day fair
SSCN students from Mexico
meet a Turtle Patroler from Rancho Nuevo.
April 2010 - GMF Science & Spanish Club members from Colegio Juvenal Rendon de
Matamoros conducted public outreach with thousands of
attendees at the first ever "Feria Ambiental" on April 18 at
the Plaza Muincipal in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico as part
of Earth Day celebrations held all over the world. During
the event, the students met a volunteer Turtle Patroler from Rancho
Nuevo, Mexico's main Kemp's Ridley Turtle nesting area along the Tamaulipan Gulf Coast.
Brownsville students plant trees near school
April 24 - Students from the Dr.
Garcia Middle School SSC in Brownsville conducted the 4th Annual Earth Day
Arbor Day on campus with about 25 students planting trees
and cleaning up around the Sabol Palm Forest in the back of
the school building. Photo: Carson Krook
Clubs represent greater Gulf ecosystem in parade
Students from Los Fresnos and Port Isabel,
Texas, hold up state flags of Kansas, Wisconsin, Maryland,
Kentucky and Georgia as they prepare to march with the Upper 33 Club banner, representing the greater Gulf of Mexico ecosystem
at the 4th Annual Bahia Grande Limpienato Parade and Coastal Cleanup
held in South Texas on April 17, 2010.
Trash Parade becomes parade inside of parade
SSCN students participate
in the Redfish Bay Seagraass & Trash Parade.
March 2010 - SSC
students from Sinton, Corpus Christi, Aransas Pass and
Ingleside, Texas, joined their fifth Annual Redfish Bay Seagrass & Trash Parade on March 6 with the Fulton Volunteer Fire
Department's 31st Annual OysterFest Parade, in effect
becoming a parade within a parade. "This collaboration gave
us exposure to thousands of people who live in our shared
ecosystem. At the same time, we helped to make this the
biggest parade OysterFest has ever had," said GMF Project
Leader Richard Gonzales. Along the parade route the students
gave out several outreach items, including Coastal Bend Bays
& Estuaries satellite maps and Earth Day Bay Day
posters, USFWS National Wildlife Refuge maps, Texas Parks &
Wildlife fish rulers, Texas General Land Office
Adopt-A-Beach calendars and beach balls, Lower Colorado
River Authority wildflower seeds and International Crane
Society Whooping Crane posters. Corpus
Christi Martin Middle School SSC won a fourth place trophy
in the Best Youth entry for the event.
Sinton, Corpus clubs clean up Lighthouse Lakes
One Sinton student recuperating from a broken ankle uses her crutches as a grabber to help pick up
trash during the March 6 cleanup.
March 2010 - More
than 60 SSCN students from Corpus Christi and Sinton, Texas,
conducted a coastal cleanup at the Lighthouse Lakes Trail
Park on Redfish Bay in Aransas Pass on March 6. The event
took place along the
old Aransas Pass to Port Aransas Highway, now known as
Redfish Bay Causeway. The students collected 1,325 pounds of trash including a broken
GMF develops bilingual mangrove information
March 2010 - Through a grant from the
Texas General Land
Office's Coastal Management Program, SSCN Project Leader
Richard Gonzales is working to create a
bilingual "Mangroves of the Gulf and Caribbean" guide for the GMF
website by assembling various educational materials on mangroves, in both Spanish and English.
The first of four parts of the guide was created by the Jobos Bay NERR (Bahia de Jobos),
which is under Puerto Rico's Departamento de Recursos Naturales & Ambientales.
MANGROVE GENERAL INFORMATION (PDF 1MB)
WHAT DOES A MANGROVE NEED TO GROW? (PDF 1MB)
Students meet US Forest Service mascots
March 2010 - SSCN students from Aransas Pass posed with
Smokey the Bear and Woodsy the Owl, who made a cameo
appearance at the First
Seagrass Festival of Knowledge held March 5 in Aransas Pass,
mascots were brought to the event by US Forest Service
Conservation Education Coordinator, Tambelry Conway, to
greet the more than 350 student participants who learned
about the importance of seagrasses along the Texas Gulf
Coast. "Now we are in a position to show these students the
importance of grasslands, especially within the Coastal
Plains, and their relationship to the estuarine ecosystem,"
said Richard Gonzales, SSCN project coordinator. "There are
new initiatives amongst federal agencies to work more
closely together and to then implement projects with local
governments and organizations that help to connect inland
and coastal ecosystems, and we hope to become a part of this
process through the US Forest Service," Gonzales added.
SSCN students proclaim World Seagrass Day
- On March 5, SSCN member Adrien Young read a proclamation announcing the first
Friday in March
will be designated "World Seagrass Day." On the giant
screen behind him inside the Civic Center in Aransas Pass,
Texas, were moving images provided by live video links with
Canada and Mexico, partners in the effort. World Seagrass
Day will help increase public education and awareness of the importance of seagrassses on planet Earth. The proclamation was read as part of the First
Seagrass Festival of Knowledge attended by fifth and sixth
graders from Charlie Marshall Elementary School in Aransas
READ PROCLAMATION (PDF)
SSCN gains partners at Whooping Crane event
February 2010 -
Representatives from the GMF's SSCN attended the
Whooping Crane Festival held in Port Aransas,
Texas, February 25-28. SSCN representatives worked from the
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge booth, giving out
information and communicating with festival goers. The next booth over belonged to the International Crane
Foundation (ICF). During the event, Aransas Pass SSC faculty sponsor Yolanda Aviles visited with ICF
Education Outreach Coordinator Jean Garland and arranged for
her to speak to the Aransas Pass SSC middle school
students on March 2. Garland will also speak to Sinton's SSC.
VIEW PHOTOS FROM EVENT ON FLICKR
SSCN follows 'whoopers' from Texas to Canada
GMF SSCN Project Leader
Richard Gonzales (center) poses with Canadians Don Jaque and his wife Sandra during a visit from Canada to the
Texas Coast. The Canadians, who live near where Whooping Cranes summer,
visited the endangered
birds' wintering grounds with Gonzales.
February 2010 - The
GMF’s SSCN has partnered with wildlife protection
agencies in both Texas and Canada to connect people on both
ends of the migration route of the endangered Whooping Crane.
The effort's goal was to "broaden the scope of human support
for the whooper's population growth," said SSCN Project
Richard Gonzales. Aransas National
Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and Canada’s Wood Buffalo
National Park (WBNP) are the two agencies participating in
the SSCN's project. A grant from the Coastal Management
Program helped fund the distance learning aspect of the
project, which connected the middle school students in Texas with
WBNP staff in Fort Smith in the Northwest Territories via a
live video hook-up in November. In February, three months
later, Don Jaque, president of the Fort Smith Chamber of
Commerce in Canada, visited the Texas coast while on a family
vacation and met up with Gonzales, who accompanied Jacque
and his family to view Whooping Cranes at ANWR. The
encounter helped nurture the
connection between Texas and Canada, which Gonzales hopes
will ultimately help the endangered birds. The newspaper in
Aransas Pass, Texas, did an article on the encounter.
READ NEWSPAPER ARTICLE
Students join Winter Texans in advocacy group
February 2010 - The GMF's Science & Spanish Club Network is now complemented by an adult-based
club called the "Upper 33 Club," made up of about 60 computer-literate
retirees from the US and Canada who winter in Texas. "Upper
33" refers to the 31 USA states and two Canadian provinces
that are located within the Gulf of Mexico watershed. The Upper 33 Club helps teach the youth-based SSCN
members science-based knowledge that the students can use to
advocate for conservation of the Gulf of Mexico watershed or "Gulfshed."
GMF Project Leader Richard Gonzales was the mastermind behind the Upper
33 Club, gathering "Winter Texans" in his area who were interested in
sharing information with the middle school SSCN students
that he oversees.
Students conduct bayfront clean up, meet mayor
Corpus Christi Mayor Joe Adame talks to SSCN members while they prepare to clean up
the Bayfront Seawall on November 7. On his morning walk, the
Mayor stopped to express his support.
November 2009 - During
his morning walk on November 7, Mayor Joe Adame was surprised
to encounter GMF SSCN students preparing to
clean up the Bayfront Seawall in downtown Corpus Christi,
Texas. He expressed his support of the students' efforts and
that of their cleanup partner, BMX for Corpus Christi. The BMX bikers scraped gum from the sidewalks and
scrubbed and power-washed the painted parts of the seawall that attract bikers
and their tire marks. SSCN students from Cunningham Middle School conducted
a beach cleanup on nearby Magee Beach, removing trash from the beach and clothing and blankets from
the walkway leading to the rocky breakwater that protects the marina.
Club runs recycle booth at Shrimp Cook-Off
November 2009 -
The Port Isabel-South Padre Island SSCN ran a "Pledge To
Recycle" outreach booth at the annual World Shrimp Cook-Off
sponsored by the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce on November
1. The City of Port Isabel opened its first recycling
collection center on November 14 and is in collaboration
with the local school district to encourage community-wide
SSCN recieves 2009 Gulf Guardian Awards
GMF Project Leader Richard Gonzales
(in white) and Principal Ludivina Rendon Lozano (in purple) accept a first-place Gulf Guardian Award in the Bi-national category during a ceremony in October.
October 2009 - The Gulf of Mexico Foundation (GMF) hosted the reception for the 2009 Gulf
Guardian Awards ceremony held in Biloxi, Mississippi, on October 29. The GMF was honored to win two first place awards
this year, including one in the Bi-National category for its Spanish Science Club Network educational outreach program.
GMF shared the first place award with Bi-National Parque Nacional Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano, Mexico and
The National Coral Reef Institute, USA.
SSCN focuses on beach clean ups in October
October 2009 - Eighty volunteers from SSCs from the Texas towns of Corpus
Christi, Sinton and Aransas Pass joined US Fish & Wildlife Service staff from the
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) on October 17 in picking up eight tons of shoreline trash
along three miles of Matagorda Island. The clean-up event helped to provide benchmark data to
the ANWR to be used for planning annual cleanup events for the entire
38-mile long Gulf beach.
Also on October 17, SSC members from Van Vleck and Bay City, Texas, volunteered for the
Texas Parks and Wildlife and Lower Colorado River Authority's
Coastal Expo at the Annual Rice Festival held in Bay City.
Clubs help with GLO state-wide beach clean up
GMF SSCN members from
several Texas cities participate in the state-wide
Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup held on Sept 26.
September 2009 - SSCs from the Texas cities of Port Lavaca, Bay City, Tidehaven, Aransas Pass,
Corpus Christi, Ingleside and Sinton participated in the
September 26 Texas General Land Office's Adopt-A-Beach Cleanups
held at Magnolia Beach,
Matagorda Beach, Corpus Christi Beach and Redfish Bay.
Port Lavaca raises funds for whooping crane
September 2009 - The Port Lavaca SSC has started an on-campus fundraising
campaign for the endangered whooping crane. They
are working with the Friends of Aransas National Wildlife
Refuge and Friends of Matagorda Island to improve available food
sources for the migrating flock, which lost 20 percent of its
Canada-to-Texas flock last season. Port Lavaca students
started raising money by holding pencil and bake sales. Students have also
commenced a strategic study of the whooping crane in both
its Texas home at Aransas National Wildlife
Refuge and its Canadian home at Wood Buffalo National Park in
Fort Smith in the Northwest Territories.
SSCN connects employers with homegrown talent
Elizabeth Roberts from San Patricio Economic Development discusses
job opportunities during the Living and Working in the Coastal Zone
job fair held May 20 in Aransas Pass with SSCN members.
May 2009 - As part of a coastal workforce
initiative developed by the GMF's Science & Spanish Club Network called “Living and Working in the Coastal Zone,” two job fairs
were held in May to help connect local talent with local employers. The effort
is a collaboration with the Texas Transportation Institute, a part of the Texas A&M; University system that encourages
development of homegrown talent. On May 20 more than 470 students circulated in the high school gymnasium in Aransas Pass, Texas,
in a “Living & Working in the Coastal Zone” job fair with area employers who are hiring workers now or who will be in the near future.
The following day, more than 450 parents and students in Edna, Texas, attended a second “Living & Working
in the Coastal Zone” fair in the school gymnasium. Other similar events are planned for the Texas cities of Port
Isabel on October 6 and in Port Lavaca in late October. All the events are sponsored in part by a grant from the Texas General Land Office
Coastal Management Program Grant Cycle 13 and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Environmental Education Network.
South Texas SSCN organizes parade, cleanup
SSCN members from Brownsville and Port Isabel participate in the 3rd annual Bahia Grande
Limpeinato Parade and Coastal Cleanup on April 4.
April 2009 - The first
ever “Flowing of the Rivers” ceremony was held in
conjunction with the 3rd Annual Bahia Grande Limpienato
Parade and Coastal Cleanup on Saturday, April 4
in Port Isabel and South Padre Island, Texas. The ceremony
featured the mixing of fresh water samples
headwaters of the Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers
with a saltwater sample from the Gulf of Mexico to create a
unique blend of water that symbolizes the connectivity of
the upper 31 states with the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean
Water samples were provided by the Tennessee Valley Authority,
Missouri River Conservation District Council, Willow Creek
Reclamation Committee, Itasca State Park in Minnesota and
the US Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in Port Isabel.
This year's parade was the largest ever with 37 entries and about
150 participants. All parade participants belonged to governmental or community
organizations that have a common interest in stewardship of
the coastal ecology of the Gulf of Mexico. Participants
picked up more than 100 bags of trash. Plastics, food wrappers and beer bottles
dominating the types of trash collected. A
petition was also circulated, asking local governments to consider the introduction of biodegradable
plastic bags in coastal communities for retailers to use.
Aransas Pass Walmart donates $1,000 to GMF's Science & Spanish Club Network
April 2009 -
Walmart in Aransas Pass, Texas, made a $1,000 Community Grants contribution in April to the Gulf of Mexico Foundation’s
Science & Spanish Club Network for their Redfish Bay public education and outreach efforts.
Science & Spanish Clubs in Ingleside, Sinton, Aransas Pass and Corpus Christi
are involved in numerous activities around Redfish Bay, a critical habitat and State Scientific Study area with its vast sea grass pastures.
The GMF greatly appreciates Aransas Pass Walmart’s contribution in support of this effort.
Fourth Annual Redfish Bay Trash Parade held in conjunction with Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup on Feb 21
SSCN members from several schools participate in the Fourth
Annual Trash Parade held in Aransas Pass, Texas, on Feb 21.
After marching in the parade, the students participated in
the statewide Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup.
February 21, 2021 - About 100
SSCN students gathered in Aransas Pass to march through town
carrying signs and dragging strings of aluminum cans behind
them in the 4th Annual Redfish Bay Trash Parade and Coastal
Cleanup on February 21. “This parade gives the residents of
Aransas Pass and the entire Live Oak Peninsula an
opportunity to learn why trash management is so important to
a healthy state of our water bodies as well as to our
communities on land,” said
Richard Gonzales, GMF project
leader for the SSCN. “Since 2003, SSCN students have been
working on several coastal conservation projects in Redfish
Bay and the Trash Parade is one way to broaden the
environmental education outreach effort to include more
residents and organizations,” he added.
After the parade, the students joined other volunteers
in two different Winter Adopt-A-Beach Cleanups. On the same
day, Texas Parks & Wildlife conducted a Crab Trap Removal at Conn Brown Harbor. The Redfish Bay Trash Parade is sponsored
by the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, Texas General Land Office, Coastal Management
Program Grant Cycle 13, the City of Aransas Pass,
Coastal Bend Bays Foundation, Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries
Program and OxyChem.
Club participates in Crab Trap Removal program
Art Morris with Texas Parks & Wildlife talks to SSCN
students about derelict crab traps and the hazards they can
produce for the marine environment.
February 21, 2021 - Corpus Christi Martin Middle School Science &
Spanish Club students received hands-on crab trap removal
from Art Morris with Texas Parks & Wildlife
Department (TPWD) during the annual Texas Crab Trap Removal
program. Volunteers and TPWD staff collect crab traps during
a 10-day period (February 20 to March 1) when all crabbing
is prohibited so that derelict traps can be removed from
Texas bays. Besides being unsightly, derelict crab traps are
a potential danger to wildlife that can get trapped in them
as well as to boaters who may hit them and damage props or
other parts of their vessel.
Texas Parks & Wildlife donates $5,000 to SSCN
Dr. Larry McKinney (yellow
shirt) visits with Aransas Pass SSCN students at the
Everything Kayak Expo on Oct 25.
December 2008 - For their efforts in
helping to raise consciousness about the body of water near
their home town called Redfish Bay, Aransas Pass SSCN
students attracted the attention of Dr. Larry McKinney, former
director of Texas
Parks & Wildlife. After meeting the students
“Everything Kayak” Expo in Aransas Pass in October, McKinney arranged for the
Texas Parks & Wildlife
Foundation to make a $5,000 contribution to the GMF for
projects that the SSCN is doing in the Redfish Bay State Scientific Study Area.
To help educate the public about Redfish Bay,
the SSCN ran a Sea Grass Dice Game and Redfish Bay Outreach
booth at the October kayaking event. Club members also
participate in clean-ups of the area and were instrumental
in designating State Highway 361 as "Redfish Bay Causeway,"
a well-traveled road for kayakers, fishermen, birder
watchers, boaters and other outdoor enthusiasts.
Clubs visit Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
Tonya Stinson, ANWR environmental educator, poses with SSCN students
who helped clear brush in a picnic area at the refuge on Dec 15.
December 2008 - The GMF's SSCN
students from Aransas Pass High School and AC Blunt Middle
School helped officials at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
(ANWR) to celebrate the refuge's 71st birthday by presenting a
birthday cake to refuge staff during a science field trip on
December 15. About 22 students climbed the refuge
observation tower while braving the cold to search for
endangered Whooping Cranes who winter at the Refuge. In
addition, students cleared a picnic area of large and small
limbs under the guidance of Tonya Stinson, ANWR
environmental educator. On the way back, the students toured the new Rockport Aquarium, Cove
Harbor, Conn Brown Harbor and other waterfront developments
along Redfish Bay. The clubs will make
the birthday cake presentation an annual event to help raise
public awareness about the refuge
and its migratory birds.
Grant assigns SSCN six tasks to complete
November 2008 - The GMF's SSCN was
Texas General Land Office's Coastal Management Program
grant this fall again for the second year. Using the $99,900 provided by the
grant, Science & Spanish Clubs will be conducting water
sampling, holding video conferencing events, expanding
outreach events, promoting "Living and Working in the
Coastal Zone" and exploring waterfront development issues in
Redfish Bay. SSCN faculty sponsors will be involved with
developing in-house coastal environmental education
materials by attending a three-day faculty workshop in June
2009. The CMP grant has tasked the SSCN students and faculty sponsors to focus on the
following six tasks:
- Conduct coastal water quality monitoring project at Bahia Grande/Little Laguna Madre in Cameron County
- Organize and participate in Ecology=Economy Weeks
- Establish Coastal Expos and Earth Day Bay Day events in outdoor recreation rural coastal communities
- Participate in summer faculty sponsor training and
create an integrated approach to coastal environmental issues education
- Conduct Redfish Bay ecotourism and waterfront development
visitors survey and develop signs for Redfish Bay Causeway
- Use distance learning as a tool for connecting Texas
Gulf to Gulf, Gulf to Caribbean, and Gulf to upper 31 states
Port Isabel club teams up with Artist Boat in event
Nicole Eckstrom, left, of Artist Boat meets Port Isabel Mayor Joe Vega,
right, and City Commissioner Guillermo Torres at the SSCN Bahia Grande Outreach booth at the Port Isabel World Shrimp Cook-Off on Nov 2.
November 2008 - GMF SSCN members from Port Isabel, Texas, teamed up with Artist Boat from Galveston to
collaborate on a mini Coastal Expo at Port Isabel's World Shrimp Cook-off on Nov 2. Artist Boat is a GMF Community-based Restoration
Program grant recipient based in Galveston but due to damage to its
headquarters from Hurricane Ike the restoration project has
been transferred to South Padre Island. Project leader
Nicole Eckstrom is a native of Port Isabel and
will be organizing a sand dune restoration project on South Padre Island on Nov. 15. During
the Coastal Expo event, she gathered more than 30 local
volunteer participants for the dune restoration project.
Also in South Padre, the GMF received a $4,000 grant from
the City of Port Isabel Economic Development Commission to
conduct the Annual Bahia Grande Limpienato Parade and
Coastal Cleanup the first Saturday in April 2009.
GMF's SSCN hosts career fair in Port Lavaca
Ranger from Aransas NWF speaks to students at career fair on Oct 28.
October 2008 - GMF SSCN students acted as hosts and guides
for exhibitors at the “Living & Working in the Coastal Zone” workforce initiative,
a coastal employer's career fair, held on Oct 28 at Travis Middle
School in Port Lavaca, Texas. More than 650 students
participated in the event that brought employers within the Texas coastal zone including
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, South Texas Nuclear Power
Plant, Texas Transportation Institute, Guadalupe Blanco
River Authority (GBRA), GEMCO and the City of Port Lavaca.
Sponsors included GMF, GBRA and the Coastal Management
Program Grant Cycle 13.
Corpus club joins Audubon to clean bird habitat
Club members particpate in
the Audubon's Rookery Island Cleanup Oct 25.
October 2008 - The GMF Science &
Spanish Club from Corpus Christi's Martin Middle School
participated in the Audubon Society’s 2nd Annual Rookery
Island Cleanup in the Upper Laguna Madre near Padre Island
on Oct 25.
Students documented types of marine debris found on data
cards and listed brands of trash found along the spoil
islands that are habitat for a number of species of birds.
Clubs clean shoreline, attend Kayak Expo
Club members attended Everything Kayak Expo in Aransas Pass Oct 25.
October 2008 - The GMF Science & Spanish Club
from Sinton, Texas, conducted a shoreline cleanup at the Lighthouse Lakes
Trail Park on Oct 25 in the morning and then joined Aransas Pass SSC students at the Everything Kayak Expo.
Students played the Redfish Bay Ring Toss Game and received kayak training from kayak guides.
Club members also toured the manufacturer
and distributor demonstration area where a variety of kayak models were available. The Redfish Bay Stream Team
(Corpus Christi-Sinton-Aransas Pass-Ingleside clubs) will introduce kayaking as a demonstration at the Coastal Expo/Redfish Bay Tent
at the 66th Annual Shrimporee in Aransas Pass on June 5-7, 2009. Sponsors
of the Oct 25 Expo were Dairy Queen of South Texas, Slow Ride Kayak Services
and Coastal Management Program Grant Cycle 13.
Bay City/El Campo clubs take part in Rice Festival
- GMF Science & Spanish Clubs from Bay City, Van Vleck,
Palacios and El Campo played Seagrass Dice in the Texas Parks &
Wildlife/Lower Colorado River Authority Coastal Expo Tent at
the Rice Festival in Bay City Oct 17-18. Students also
assisted in several other interactive activities including
coastal fisheries touch tanks, discovery boxes, creating
crab marsh habitat and other hands-on coastal ecology games.
Sponsors were Texas Parks & Wildlife Coastal Expo, Bay City
Lions Club and Coastal Management Program Grant Cycle 13.
Port Lavaca students learn about local water canal
Students participate in
educational field trip to 2.6-mile canal in preserve.
October 2008 - The
GMF Science & Spanish Clubs (SSC) from Calhoun High School and Travis Middle School
in Port Lavaca, Texas, attended an
educational field trip on Oct 16 presented
by the Guadalupe Blanco River Authority (GBRA)
and the GBRA Land Trust. The field trip took students on
a tour of a newly refurbished,
2.6-mile water canal that assures fresh water balances for
migratory water fowl. The $600,000 water canal project is located in the 3,440-acre Myrtel Foester
Whitmire Preserve, which the students have been studying
over the past four years. The Whitmire Preserve, located in
Indianola, Texas, recently became part of the Aransas National
Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), home to the endangered Whooping
Students reach out to local Vietnamese community
October 2008 - The GMF Science & Spanish Club in
Texas, produced a trilingual T-shirt featuring a
design that translates the top coastal environmental issues
into three languages: English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
The students presented one of the yellow T-shirts to Matagorda
County Environmental Health Department Director Ruben
Gonzales. The T-shirt will act as a tool to help students
and others in the Palacios area to reach out to
the pockets of Vietnamese-speaking communities along the Texas Gulf coast.
The T-shirt project was paid for by funding from the Texas
General Land Office Coastal Management Program Grant which
the GMF received.
Brownsville club starts school recycling program
Science teacher Carson Krook and students started recycling at school.
October 2008 - The Dr. Garcia Middle School
Science & Spanish Club has implemented an on-campus recycling program with a focus on paper products.
In 2006, SSC students refurbished trash barrels for placement behind the school where practice fields
attract an array of styrofoam, plastic, aluminum and paper debris. Faculty sponsor, Carson Krook, a
science teacher, has taken the trash issue to heart and already has seen slight improvements in
campus trash management.
Port Lavaca students recreate local watershed
Teacher Sherrie Krause, right, oversees the recreation of a watershed.
- The Travis Middle School and Calhoun High School Science &
Spanish Clubs have taken field trips along various sections
of the nearby Guadalupe River over the past five years, visiting
various sections of the river which begins in the Texas Hill
Country and ends at San Antonio Bay near their home town of Port
Lavaca, Texas. This year, the students decided to create a
model exhibit of the watershed to demonstrate its function.
Students did all the work for the model, located in their
school yard, including creating native plant habitat
for birds and other animals living within the watershed. The
clubs' next goal will be to place bilingual birding posters
about song birds, migratory birds and shore birds in the
Clubs run booth at Bayfest 2008 in Corpus Christi
September 2008 - GMF
Science & Spanish Clubs from Aransas Pass,
Ingleside and Corpus Christi, Texas, worked in the Gulf of
Mexico Foundation's booth Sept 27-28 at Bayfest, an annual event
that drew more than 100,000 visitors this year. The students gave out fish rulers and other
prizes to participants who played a
game called, "Seagrass Dice." The GMF educational booth was one of
several booths in the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program’s
"Adventure Bay" tent which focused on getting kids interested
in the environment.
Clubs participate in fall cleanup at Redfish Bay
SSCN members pick lup trash
along Redfish Bay Causeway on Sept 27.
September 2008 - GMF Science & Spanish Clubs from Aransas Pass,
Ingleside, Bay City and Tidehaven, Texas, participated in the Texas
General Land Office's Annual Fall Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup at the
Lighthouse Lakes Trail Park and Matagorda Beach on Sept 27.
Later that day, the Tidehaven students measured
the sand dunes at Matagorda Beach with the University of
Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, as they have done for the past
four years, participating a dune erosion monitoring study.
Phytoplankton specialist visits SSCN classroom
Jeff Paternoster and Sherrie Krause help students use microscopes.
- GMF SSCN students from Port Lavaca received one day
training on phytoplankton monitoring from Jeff Paternoster,
outreach specialist from the Southeast Phytoplankton
Monitoring Network in South Carolina, on August 5 at Travis
Middle School. Science teacher Sherrie Krause's has been the
SSCN faculty sponsor for six years. Her club has more than
34 members. As part of their phytoplankton studies, students
will collect weekly water samples, analyze water chemistry
and report to the national phytoplankton monitoring program.
The Texas Master Naturalists Midcoast Chapter, which also
participate in this volunteer-based monitoring project, will
work with the SSCN students over the coming year. Paul and
Mary Meredith, retired college professors who live in
Vistoria, and Krause are Master Naturalists and will guide
the students in hands-on data collection that seeks to
monitor phytoplankton, the main culprits in harmful algal
blooms around the Gulf coast.
Leadership event includes international component
SSCN members from Penuelas,
Puerto Rico, present their science investigation of wind and
wave currents that connect the Caribbean to the
Gulf of Mexico. Javier Gonzalez,(far left) science teacher, addresses the
Leadership Conference assembly with his students seated at the table.
May 2008 - Eleven GMF Science & Spanish Clubs and more than 150 students, faculty, presenters and exhibitors converged on the Sinton High School campus
to discuss special coastal issues during the 4th Annual Gulf of Mexico Youth Leadership in Stewardship Conference held on May 10. The GMF SSCN club from Penuelas,
Puerto Rico, sent a delegation of three students along with a faculty sponsor to the event. A video conference hook-up was established between the conference site and
St. Croix Central High School, USVI, setting the stage for further connection between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.
The event was sponsored by the Gulf of Mexico Foundation’s Science & Spanish
Club Network (SSCN), BP America, Port of Corpus Christi and Oceaneering.
Students celebrate earth and water on Earth Day
SSCN members share the stage with city officials in a ceremony
commemorating a pipeline that supplies water to the Coastal Bend.
April 2008 - More than 160 student members of the
GMF's Science & Spanish Club Network (SSCN) participated in the 9th Annual Earth Day Bay Day
Celebration on April 19 at Cole Park in Corpus Christi which
attracted over 15,000 people -- the largest event to date.
Inside the GMF's tent, students from the SSCN operated
eco-games they had created including Gulf Coast Twister, the
Redfish Bay Ring Toss and Bird Bingo. SSCN members from
Aransas Pass, Ingleside, Sinton, Port Lavaca and Edna
attended the event. Also at the Earth Day event, all club members
participated in a ceremony to commemorate the 15th
anniversary of construction of the Mary Rhodes Pipeline, a
humanized watershed that runs from Lake Texana in Jackson
County, through the 105-mile-long manmade pipeline, to
supply water to Corpus Christi and other Coastal Bend
communities. It's the water that their families and friends
drink and use on a daily basis. In the ceremony, club
members were joined by representatives from the San Patricio
Municipal Water District, the City of Corpus Christi Water
Department, City Councilwoman Nelda Martinez and Tara Rhodes
(granddaughter of Mary Rhodes who was a former mayor of the
City of Corpus Christi). The commemoration was a coastal
environmental project sponsored by Valero, South Texas Dairy
Queen and a Texas General Land Office Coastal Management
Program Cycle 12 grant.
Clubs march in parade, clean beach, restore marsh
Feb 2008 -
GMF SSCN clubs from the Texas Coastal Bend kicked off Ecology = Economy week with the
3rd Annual Redfish Bay Trash Parade & Coastal
Cleanup on February 16. The parade began in Ingleside and reconvened with another parade through downtown Aransas Pass.
After the parade, some clubs participated in the Texas General Land Office's Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup at the Lighthouse Lakes Trail Park along Redfish Bay
Causeway while others went to Goose Island State Park to transplant marsh grasses as part of a habitat restoration project.
GMF SSCN creates first Ecology = Economy Week
Feb 2008 - The first
Aransas/San Patricio County Economy = Ecology Week held Feb
16-23 featured a Trash Parade, Redfish Bay Cleanup, Goose
Island Marsh Restoration and Obligation Day. The event was
organized by the GMF and sponsored by Texas Transportation Institute, Valero, Cheniere LNG, San Patricio Economic Development Commission, Coastal Bend Bays Foundation, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Dairy Queen of South Texas,
and the Texas General Land Office’s Coastal Management Program.
The economy side of the Economy = Ecology formula featured an
Obligation Day on Feb 19 at the Aransas Pass High School
gymnasium where students learned about coastal workforce
training, education and employment choices available where
they live. Obligation Day featured several local and regional
employers including South Texas Nuclear Power, Texas Department of Transportation, Shiner Moseley
Engineering, Texas Parks & Wildlife, the US Navy and TAMU-CC Nursing School.
"These companies are looking to recruit workers now and in
the near-future, said Richard Gonzales, GMF's SSCN Project Coordinator.
For that reason, we
invited community leaders from chambers of commerce, city councils,
school boards and other community groups to meet with the
exhibiting companies during a Community Bleacher Lunch
sponsored by Cheniere LNG,” Gonzales said.
Palacios clubs create 'river dragon' for parade
Feb 2008 -
GMF SSCN clubs from Van Vleck and Palacios marched in the 60th Annual
Harmony Club Valentine's Parade in Palacios, Texas, on Feb 9.
To carry in the parade, students and faculty helped
to design and make a "river dragon" made of sheer fabric to
represent the watershed approach to coastal environmental
stewardship and upstream-midstream-downstream
Message-in-a-bottle experiments teach students
- GMF SSCN clubs from Texas learned about
scientific experiments conducted by students from two
schools which are faraway but which lie near the Gulf Stream. Science
students from schools in New York and Puerto Rico put messages in bottles
and released them into the Gulf Stream to see where the
bottles would land. A school from Long Island,
New York launched a message in a bottle in 1999 which was
found on Matagorda Beach in Texas in 2007 (see photo at
right). A school from the island of Puerto Rico launched 84 bottles
in November 2006 off the southern coast of the island and
bottle #13 was found by volunteers at the Adopt-A-Beach
Cleanup in April 2007. SSCN members are
studying message-in-a-bottle experiments using real-time sensors to
track the natural movement of the bottles via satellite.
Clubs tour lakes, learn first hand about watersheds
Dec 2007 -
Science & Spanish Clubs from Aransas Pass, Ingleside and Sinton explored the
man-made lakes at Lake Texana in Jackson County and the
7,000-acre lake that supplies water to the South Texas
Nuclear Power Plant near Bay City, Texas. These field trips
helped to show how people influence natural watersheds. Next
these students will connect with the Science & Spanish Club
in Edna, Texas, to explore the Mary Rhodes Pipeline, a humanized watershed that brings fresh water from Lake Texana
to Corpus Christi 120 miles to the south. Corpus Christi then redistributes
the water to several Coastal Bend communities.
South Texas clubs participate in trash clean-up
Nov 2007 - Science & Spanish Clubs from Port Isabel and
Brownsville joined hundreds of other volunteers in the 3rd Annual Bahia Grande/Laguna
Madre Coastal Cleanup on Nov 10. The event was organized by Cameron County
Parks & Recreation, the City of Port Isabel, the Port Isabel
Economic Development Commission and Red River Services.
Nearly three tons of trash were picked up in several trash hot
spots around the Bahia Grande and Laguna Madre.
Coastal Bend clubs clean up, learn at Matagorda
Sept 2007 - More than 180 members of the Science & Spanish Club Network helped to boost the largest volunteer turnout (300)
ever for the Texas General Land Office Fall Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup at Matagorda Beach held on September 22. Students from Tidehaven,
Edna, Bay City, Port Lavaca, El Campo and Palacios joined
more than 100 other community volunteers as hundreds of bags
of beach debris was picked up. "The Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup
experience teaches youth leadership by example skills by
learning how to take the initiative in picking up other
people’s trash,” explained S&S Club Network coordinator
“Students are also introduced to the scientific method
as they record the types of shoreline trash picked up. Data is collected on data cards provided by the
Ocean Conservancy who have been organizing a global beach
cleanup effort for over 30 years now. Students come to
understand that trash is a global problem that will be
solved only through local communities taking responsibility
for their part of the coastline,” he said.
Science & Spanish Clubs from El Campo, Palacios, Tidehaven,
Edna, Port Lavaca and Bay City joined other volunteers at the Texas General Land Office Fall Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup
held on Sept 22 on Matagorda Island, Texas.
Science & Spanish Club students from Tidehaven, Texas,
assemble in front of the Lower Colorado River Authority
Nature Learning Center as they prepare to measure sand dune
erosion along Matagorda Beach as part of their Adopt-A-Beach
cleanup experience on Sept 22.
Science & Spanish Club students from Edna, Texas, take a break from their volunteer work at the Texas General Land Office Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup
on Matagorda Sept 22.
Clubs clean up Lighthouse Lakes Park, more
Sept 2007 - More than 130
members of the Science & Spanish Club Network helped to boost
the largest volunteer turnout (160) ever for the Texas General Land Office Fall Adopt-A-Beach Cleanup at the Lighthouse Lakes Park,
Conn Brown Harbor and the Aransas Pass Aquatics Center held on September 22.
Science & Spanish Clubs from Sinton,
Ingleside, Corpus Christi and Aransas Pass joined over 30 other community volunteers as 300 hundred bags of beach debris were picked up.
3M Corporation presents check to S&S; Club
Photo by Diana Gonzales - click to enlarge
May 2007 -
3M Corporation-Brownwood surprised the GMF’s
Science & Spanish Club Network middle-school students at the 2007 Texas Environmental
Excellence (TEE) Awards on May 7 by presenting them with a check for $2,500 for
the work they have done to promote a healthy environment in the Gulf of Mexico region.
The bilingual science education project has expanded to include students in coastal zone communities
from Texas to Mexico. At the TEE awards ceremony, the GMF’s S&S; Club Network received the
award in the Youth category. "It was a day the kids will not forget,"
said GMF Executive Director Dr. Quenton Dokken about the award, adding,
"And, the grant from 3M Corporation was more icing on the cake. Many of
the kids come from disadvantage backgrounds and the check from 3M was
mind boggling! When I last saw them after the event, they were walking
down the hall carrying the oversized check mock up. It was a gold medal
in their eyes. I have no idea how they packed it into their van." At the same banquet, 3M Corporation-Brownwood received the award in the
Large Business/Technical category for
its innovative methods that helped to reduce volatile organic compound
emissions, to reduce waste and to improve energy efficiency. The GMF congratulates 3M Brownwood for its
award, and appreciates its financial support of the GMF S&S; Club Network.
S&S; Club organizes two-town Trash Parade
Photos by Carrie Robertson - click to enlarge
Feb 2007 -
GMF Science & Spanish Club members from five schools in the Texas
Coastal Bend area
joined together to march for a cleaner environment during the 2nd
Annual Redfish Bay Trash Parade on Saturday morning, Feb 17. Dressed in
matching parade T-shirts, the students first marched in Ingleside, then
got back in school buses and rode to Aransas Pass, where they marched
again. In both parades, they carried themed banners, posters and flags,
and shouted slogans such as "Pick up your trash," and "Please don't
litter." The event was part of the annual Winter Beach Cleanup
sponsored by the Texas General Land Office. "The students have leaned
that they share a common ecosystem that is Redfish Bay with its vast
sensitive seagrass pasture," said Richard Gonzales, project
coordinator, adding, "Marine debris, whether it comes from land,
rivers, bays or the gulf, is caused mostly by human behavior."
More Recent Articles
Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free - (361) 882-3939 phone - (361) 882-1262 fax
webmaster: Carrie Robertson
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Feb 18 - Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
Whooping Crane tour + boat cruise on Skimmer
Feb 19 - Shrimp Poster Competition presentation in
Feb 25-27 - Port Aransas Whooping Crane Festival
March 5 - Seagrass Festival of Knowledge,
Aransas Pass Civic Center, using distance technology to
link Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, Florida and Texas.
March 6 - Fulton Oyster Fest Parade (Redfish
Bay Trash & Seagrass Parade collaboration)
March 6 - Redfish Bay Cleanup
March 6 - Walking Wetlands Tour at UTMSI with
Ingleside, Corpus Christi, Sinton, Aransas Pass SSCs
March 6 - Coastal Cleanup at Redfish Bay Lighthouse
Lakes Trail Park with OxyChem
April 17 - 4th Annual Bahia Grande Limpienato &
Coastal Cleanup in Port Isabel and South Padre Island with
SSCs from Matamoros, Brownsville & Port Isabel, plus other
April 17 - Earth Day Bay Day in Corpus Christi
with SSCs from Aransas Pass, Corpus Christi & Ingleside
in Texas Parks & Wildlife tent
April 24 - Matagorda Island Shoreline Cleanup
with SSCs from Port Lavaca, Ingleside, Aransas Pass,
Corpus Christi & Sinton, Texas
April 24 - Earth Day Arbor Day with SSC from Brownsville,
May - San Patricio County “Living & Working
in the Coastal Zone” and “Econmy=Ecology Week” at Sinton
June 11-13 - Shrimporee in Aransas Pass with
SSCs from Corpus Christi, Sinton, Ingleside at Redfish Bay Seagrass
June 9-10 - SSCN 2010 Faculty Training at
Discovery Center in Sinton, Texas
June 14-16 - SSCN Project Coordinator in
Galveston to make environmental education presentation to
Equatorial Guinea delegation for artificial reef project
June 26 - Colegio Juvenal Rendon 20th Anniversary Alumni
Reunion in Matamoros, Mexico
July 1-4 - GMF exhibit at Sail South Texas 2010
Tall Ships celebration
July 24 - GMF exhibit at Texas General Land
Office Coastal Expo at Texas State Aquarium in Corpus
Aug 3-5 - SSCN Project Coordinator at All Hands
Meeting with Gulf of Mexico Alliance in Biloxi,
Sept 25 - Texas GLO Fall Adopt-A-Beach Cleanups
for SSCs from Corpus Christi, Aransas Pass, Ingleside,
Sinton, Port Lavaca
Oct 6 - Rio Research Roundup, 60 schools conduct water quality testing along
Rio Grande/Rio Bravo/Gulf of Mexico watershed, 11am CDT/10am MDT
Oct 15-16 - Texas Coastal Expo Tent at 63rd Annual Rice festival in Bay City
for SSCs from Bay City, Van Vleck and Palacios
Oct 15 -
Dia del Rio reception in Port Isabel for SSCs from Port
Isabel, Brownsville and Matamoros
Oct 16 - GMF SSCs from Brownsville, Port Isabel and Matamoros in
Dia Del Rio Rio Grande Watershed Ceremony at Boca Chica,
Oct 23 - SSCN participate in US Forest Service's climate change initiative called
FOCUS (Forests, Oceans, Climate and Us)
Oct 30 - Corpus Christi Martin Middle School SSC at Rookery Island
Nov 6 - SSCN Gulf of Mexico Youth Leadership & Stewardship Conference, Aransas Pass, Texas
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
· Aransas Pass High (pdf)
· AC Blunt Middle School
· Bay City Middle School
· Dr. Juliette Garcia Middle (pdf)
· Martin Middle School (pdf)
· Tidehaven Intermediate (pdf)
· Blaschke Elementary School
· Colegio Rendon
· Calhoun High School
· Travis Middle School (pdf)
· Rockport-Fulton Middle School
· Smith Junior High (pdf)
· Sinton High School
· Van Vleck High School(pdf)
NW Territories, Canada
Penuelas, Puerto Rico
· Rafael Irrizary Middle (pdf)
US Virgin Islands
· St. Croix Central High School
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
2010 - Coastal Management Program Grant Cycle 15
2009 - Gulf of Mexico Program Gulf Guardian Award Binational category
2008 - Texas General Land Office Coastal Management Program Grant Cycle 13 recipient
2008 - The Conservation Fund National Forum on Children and Nature Top 30 Programs in America recipient
2007 - Coastal Impact Assistance Program Grant Cycle 2 recipient
2007 - Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Environmental Excellence Award Winner-Youth Category
2007 - Gulf of Mexico Alliance Environmental Education Committee Best Practices Demonstration Program for Underserved/Underrepresented Populations
2007 - Texas General Land Office Coastal Management Program Grant Cycle 12 recipient
2007 - Ocean Conservancy’s 1st Caribbean Ocean Summit for Youth Invited participants to represent the Gulf of Mexico
2006 - Boys & Girls Club of America National Dragonfly Quest Science Fair Competition in the Environmental Science category
2006 - Coastal Bend Bays Foundation Environmental Stewardship Award-Middle School category
2005 - Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Environmental Excellence Award Finalist-Non-Profit Organization category
2003 - Coastal Impact Assistance Program Grant Cycle 1 recipient
2001 - Corpus Christi Independent School District Innovative Idea Grant Winner-Middle School Category
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