Students Protecting the Coast

During the 2012-2013 school year 4th-8th grade students embarked on an interdisciplinary project to learn more about public lands here on the North Coast.

The project focused on the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands and the anticipated inclusion of these lands into the California Coastal National Monument. Since the start of this project, the land has become the first onshore land to be included in the California Coastal National Monument, a designation that enhances its preservation status and better highlights this unique and scenic portion of the coast to the public.

The initial stage of the project included a field studies to photograph the land followed by a classroom watercolor study where students made landscape paintings based on the photographs. These watercolors were shared with the community at public events. Letter writing to the President and First Lady were also done in the classroom.

A small group of 4th-5th grade students continued the project by signing up for an elective that involved further site visits to better understand the land and community outreach efforts to raise awareness about protecting public lands. This group of students developed the slideshow above for sharing with our local and online community as well as a photo book that was sent to the White House and shared with our Congressman at a press conference during the spring of 2013. They also engaged in community outreach activities such as tabling at local events and gathering signatures of support.

Students Protecting the Coast ultimately helped lead to the Presidential proclamation on March 11, 2014 which added the Point Arena-Stornetta Lands to the California Coastal National Monument, a success for everyone! After the designation our middle school students met with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Congressman Jared Huffman in Washington D.C. during a field studies trip in the spring of 2014.

Students Protecting the Coast continues as a program offered to our  middle school students in collaboration with ACORN Partners in Education. Our students continue to focus on the ecology of the Point Arena-Stornetta Lands as well as the larger coastal environment where we live. Environmental stewardship and community outreach continue to serve as guiding principles.

"We think the coast is a beautiful and peaceful place that should be preserved for everyone." -Students Protecting the Coast

"We want public land where we can hike, take photos, bicycle, watch the seasons change, surf, walk to the beach, picnic, and explore tidepools." -Students Protecting the Coast