Eelgrass Education

Purpose: To incorporate an aquatic plant and wetland ecology and restoration component to the Back Bay Science Center Education Program, offering hands-on activities for local schools and the community at large.

  • Coastkeeper has developed a curriculum based on California Content Standards and Environmental Principles and Concepts targeted for junior and high school Life Science and Biology classes
  • Students and teachers at the college, high school and junior high school levels regularly participate in the collection and cultivation of eelgrass at the BBSC, recording of observations of eelgrass growth and survival, identification of species associated with our eelgrass, and monitoring of water quality within the eelgrass trough and tanks.
  • Eelgrass Field Trips During the 2010-2011 School Year:
    • Estancia High School – Mark Cygan (Teacher), 173 Marine Science students
    • Santa Ana High School – Sue Grasse and Darryl Killion, 90 Earth Science Students
    • Rancho Alamitos HS – Janet Ewell, 40 English as a Second Language (ESL) students
    • Rancho Alamitos HS – Michael Loftis, 20 ESL students and Kathleen Andrews, 8 Special Education students
    • Godinez HS - Lisa Morgan, Anatomy students
    • Stacey Middle School, Tina Dandridge and Dana Faulkner’s 6th grade students
Students from Rancho Alamitos High School with our eelgrass tank!

Quick Links / Eelgrass Curriculum

Eelgrass Cultivation & Research

The research component adds a unique benefit to our education program, as our students will participate in an ongoing environmental science project. It will also attempt to answer critical questions in the future conservation, management, and restoration of eelgrass in Newport Bay.

What Have We Learned?

  • Students have significantly benefitted from hands-on environmental science experience
  • In order to make a larger impact on the community and increase public awareness and concern we need to:
    • Expand our existing eelgrass cultivation and research project
    • Host educational Newport Bay community events
    • Use what we have learned to restore eelgrass habitat in Upper Newport Bay

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