ClearShark H2O awarded $1500 grant from West Marine

| November 19, 2016

ClearSharkClearShark H2O, a nonprofit organization committed to protecting and preserving Maryland’s waterways, announced today that it has been awarded a 2016 BlueFuture grant from leading waterlife outfitter, West Marine. The $1,500 grant will support the expansion and enhancement of ClearShark H2O’s successful oyster-based curriculum for youth. The three-year curriculum, created in partnership with the Oyster Recovery Partnership, teaches middle school students about Maryland’s local environment and waterways, and the importance of oyster restoration.

“Educating our youth about the important role they play in the community and environment is essential to the future of our waterways,” commented Nichole Bentz, Co-Founder and Executive Director of ClearShark H2O. “That belief inspired the founding of ClearShark H2O and is the driving force behind what we do. We’ve worked to connect many children across Maryland to our waterways through educational and recreational activities, and the funds will be instrumental to the continued growth and success of our curriculum.”

In 2015, in collaboration with the Oyster Recovery Partnership, ClearShark H2O launched a three-year, oyster-based curriculum geared towards educating middle school students about Maryland’s waterways and environment, with a focus on learning opportunities surrounding the importance of protecting the oyster population. Since the establishment of the curriculum, ClearShark H2O has expanded into a total of six local schools in Anne Arundel and Baltimore County, with two schools newly signed-on to implement the curriculum for the 2016-2017 school year. The BlueFuture grant will support ClearShark H2O’s efforts to expand the curriculum into more Maryland schools, giving local youth an opportunity to interact with and develop an appreciation for Maryland’s waterways. In addition, the grant will also help create opportunities for youth to engage with the water and educate children about the powerful impact they can have on their community.  

“We believe no one understands the needs of a community better than those living and working in that community,” says Lindsey Johnson, West Marine’s Director of Communications. “We congratulate ClearShark H2O. It’s doing so much to improve youth access to the water in its community, and we’re very much looking forward to hearing about its accomplishments in the year to come.”

The BlueFuture Fund is a donor-advised fund through the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz. Twice each year, West Marine awards grants to worthy nonprofit organizations across North America that are committed to giving youth access to their local waterways in recreational and educational capacities. The grants allow community-based groups to provide scholarships, purchase new equipment, maintain staff, add programs, and so much more. To learn more about West Marine’s BlueFuture initiative and how you can help, visit: www.westmarine.com/bluefuture.

Category: Crime News, LIFE IN THE AREA, Local News, NEWS

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