La Cumbre Junior High School teachers Chris Greeley and Cha Mckeehan received a grant through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They designed a program to teach students ocean conservation through environmentalism and a love for surfing. Students will receive water safety training from county lifeguards and surf instructions from the teachers.
Explore Ecology is partnering with the program to collect and analyze marine debris. This information will be posted in a passive education display designed and constructed by the students as a permanent structure at Arroyo Burro Beach. The display is aimed at educating the public as to the types of marine debris, amount of debris, and corresponding peak periods.
The student group is called GROMSS (Getting Real On Marine Science and Surf!). La Cumbre Junior High’s student population does not frequent local beaches often. The goal is to give the students a reason to keep local beaches clean. Greeley and Mckeehan believe that the surf lessons and water safety training play a significant role in the program’s philosophy. They hope to create lifelong citizen scientists through education and fun.