NOAA 2006-092
Contact: Scott Smullen
NOAA News Releases 2006
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NOAA Joins Coastal America and Federal Partners
to Sponsor the Second National Student Summit in Washington, D.C.

Groups of motivated high school students will spend Dec. 6-8 in Washington, D.C. presenting plans to fix ocean and coastal problems in their communities and getting advice from federal ocean agency executives, Congressional lawmakers, and ocean scientists and celebrities. Most sessions are open to the media.

The student action plans are just one part of the National Student Summit on Oceans & Coasts, which includes 120 students from 19 coastal delegations from a unique combination of science and technical sciences, social and economic disciplines, and government policy. The students were selected from 22 Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers based in aquariums, museums, and research centers around the country. Each student delegation has researched ocean and coastal problems in their region, determined solutions, and developed individual action plans that their communities will implement.

As a sponsor of the summit, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will join Coastal America and other federal agencies hosting the many summit proceedings. Coastal America itself is a partnership of 12 federal agencies chaired by the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

“This summit is a way to involve students who are passionate about the health of our oceans and coastal communities. These scholars are our future ocean scientists and policy makers, and we all stand to benefit from efforts to foster creative thinking and mobilize local communities to address critical coastal and ocean issues,” said Timothy Keeney, NOAA deputy assistant secretary oceans and atmosphere.

“These are some of our nation’s top students and the future leaders responsible for managing our coasts and oceans,” said Virginia K. Tippie, director of Coastal America. “These students have worked very hard to get here and we are pleased to provide this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them to present their projects to top-level administrators and decision makers in Washington. The enthusiasm and commitment of the students is truly amazing.”

At the summit, each delegation will give a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation that informs summit participants about their developed action plan. The presentation will identify the regional issue and components, community process, project, timeframe, implementation plan, and outcomes if known. Each delegation will design a poster that will be displayed during the summit identifying their issue and its importance within their region. Students will return home to refine and further implement their plans. They will be required to keep journals throughout the process and prepare a case study on their implemented projects reporting results to Coastal America.

Speakers interacting with students at the summit:

  • Dr. Robert Ballard, ocean explorer
  • James L. Connaughton, chairman, White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • Philippe Cousteau, president, Earth Echo
  • Dr. Sylvia Earle, ocean explorer
  • Dave Helvarg, founder and author of Blue Frontier and 50 Ways to Save the Ocean
  • Timothy Keeney, NOAA deputy assistant secretary for oceans & atmosphere
  • Kaiulani Lee, playwright and actor, A Sense of Wonder
  • Gregg Marshall, National Geographic, inventor of Critter-Cam
  • Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)
  • Jim Toomey, cartoonist, Sherman's Lagoon
In 2007 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

Note to Reporters:

Recommended PhotoOps:

*Events at National Academy of Sciences, Reagan Building, or Russell or Hart Senate buildings.
(Call for details)

  • Wednesday, Dec. 6, 9 a.m-12:00 p.m. Opening remarks by Bob Ballard, then student delegations present their action plans to ocean policy leaders.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 6, 7-9 p.m. Phillipe Cousteau, David Helvarg, and Jim Tooney present to the students 50 Ways to Save the Ocean.
  • Thursday, Dec. 7th, 5:30-7:00 p.m. Students present to panel of ocean experts from academia, non-governmental organizations, and ocean commissions.
  • Thursday, Dec. 7th, 7-9:00 p.m. Meet Our Ocean Leaders banquet with keynote addresses from Sylvia Earle and Greg Marshall.
  • Friday, Dec. 8th, 10 a.m-12:00 p.m. Students present ocean conservation messages and recommendations to congressional and administration officials. Expected attendance by Senators Stevens and Mikulski and Congressmen Young, Gilchest, and Farr.