NOAA 99-R137
Contact: Gordon Helm


The National Marine Fisheries Service and the Girl Scouts of the United States have formed a partnership to promote sound marine conservation and education issues for young people, the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said today.

An agreement between NOAA Fisheries and the Girl Scouts provides a framework to develop a variety of cooperative activities that will increase recreational fishing opportunities and promote marine education issues. Future projects may include organizing Girl Scout field trips to various marine sites including marine sanctuaries, and holding educational workshops presented by NOAA scientists. These activities will provide the Girl Scouts the opportunity to participate in marine conservation issues.

"This partnership expands our marine science education for young people," said Penny Dalton, director of NOAA Fisheries. "Educating young adults about the importance of the marine environment encourages them to develop strong conservation ethics."

"Girl Scouts have a long and proud record of environmental conservation. We are pleased to extend that commitment to the marine realm," said Marsha Johnson Evans, national executive director of Girl Scouts of the USA. "This partnership will help expose girls to the vast array of marine related careers as well as opportunities to be active conservationists."

Since its founding in 1912, the Girl Scout movement has played an active role in
protecting and caring for natural resources. The Girl Scout program has a strong
emphasis on outdoor activities, with girls able to earn badges in ecology and eco-action, water fun, swimming and wildlife. Through partnerships like this with key federal and non-profit environmental groups, GSUSA can offer expanded learning and mentoring opportunities for girls.

"We look forward to working with the Girl Scouts to foster sound fisheries conservation," said Dick Schaefer, chief of the Intergovernmental and Recreational Fisheries Office within NOAA Fisheries. "This is another step in the process to meet this agency's commitment to work with youth groups as partners to ensure a healthy marine environment."

NOAA Fisheries is an agency of the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The agency is dedicated to protecting and preserving the nation's ocean wildlife through scientific research, fisheries management, habitat conservation and enforcement of the nation's ocean wildlife laws.

Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's pre-eminent organization for girls, with a membership of more than 3.5 million adults and girls. GSUSA helps cultivate values, social conscience and self-esteem in young girls, while also teaching them critical life skills that will enable them to succeed as adults. In Girl Scouting--and its special girl-only environment--girls can discover the fun, friendship and power of girls together.