NOAA 2002-133
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NOAA News Releases 2002
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The nation’s top federal ocean manager, retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will speak to more than 200 high schools students and their teachers participating in a three-day summit aimed at promoting awareness and commitment to conserving and protecting our nation’s watersheds tomorrow morning. NOAA is an agency of the Commerce Department.

Lautenbacher will address the students and teachers on Wed., Oct. 9, at 10:30 a.m. in the Baird Auditorium of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. The address is open to the media and is part of the Washington, D.C. portion of The Youth Watershed Summit held Oct. 6 - 10 in Edgewater, Md. The summit is part of the 30th anniversary celebration of the Clean Water Act of 1972.

“I enjoy spending time with some of our nation’s brightest young scientists,” said Lautenbacher. “Sharing our science and management philosophies with Youth Watershed students and teachers gives them a window into how NOAA is working to improve the health of our oceans and coasts. Students from every state and the District actively engaged with watershed recovery and preservation at the local level can truly make a difference.”

Lautenbacher will educate the students on NOAA's international and domestic role in managing and protecting the water cycle, and will illustrate the NOAA water mission through four themes: science, management, education, and restoration. Through these themes, the Vice Admiral will speak to NOAA commitment in both coastal and non-coastal states and discuss how students can serve as ambassadors to their local watersheds and augment NOAA’s programs.

Four students and one teacher were selected by the governor of each state and the District of Columbia to participate in the national forum. The conference sessions will be conducted at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Md. Students will participate in daily watershed education sessions, create local radio spots about watersheds, submit group watershed projects for competition and visit the Baltimore Aquarium and The National Mall.

Oct.18 marks the 30th anniversary of The Clean Water Act which created programs to meet the goals of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation's waters. The Youth Watershed Summit is one of several events created by the America’s Clean Water Foundation to increase awareness and build a legacy of commitment to protect the nation’s thousands of miles of watershed.

Watersheds encompass land areas that feed into lakes, bays and oceans from inland sources such as streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries. Watersheds exist in all 50 states. Activities upstream and inland directly affect the quality of the water at the coast. From the snow-capped mountains to the rivers and on to the sea, watersheds provide inland supply of water to the coasts.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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To learn more about the Youth Watershed Summit please visit