Protecting The Sargasso Sea Youth Conference

March 11, 2014

The Bermuda Zoological Society’s [BZS] biennial Youth Conference is a two-day programme for middle and secondary students who have demonstrated interest and leadership in conservation and the environment.

This year’s conference “Protecting the Sargasso Sea: The Power of One,” takes place at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo [BAMZ] on Thursday and Friday, March 13 and 14.

Eighty-three home school, private and public school students are registered to attend and will have unique insight into the dynamic world of environmental science through experiential learning, guest lectures and networking opportunities with leaders from the global and local conservation and science community.

The conference will highlight many of the species that live and migrate through the Sargasso Sea and how they are affected by human behaviour, in addition to workshops on oceanography, research, and conservation efforts.

Students are nominated to represent their school by teachers and range in age from 13 to 18.

“As the Centre for Environmental Education it is our responsibility to prepare Bermuda’s youth for the environmental challenges they will face in the future,” says Education Officer Dr. Jamie Bacon.

“We do this by using real life experiences in nature, inspiring them to be better stewards of our shared environment. The students will also draft their own Declaration for the Protection of the Sargasso Sea, thus declaring their generation’s commitment to protect the Sargasso Sea.”

The keynote speakers will be Dr. David Freestone, Executive Director of the Sargasso Sea Alliance, and Professor Howard Roe, Scientific Advisory Chair of the Sargasso Sea Alliance, with presentations being made by Dr. Bill Curry, President and Director of the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences [BIOS] and Dr. Robbie Smith, Curator for the Natural History Museum at BAMZ.

The Youth Conference is being held parallel to signing of The Hamilton Declaration on Collaboration for the Conservation of the Sargasso Sea by international governments that are either located in the broader Sargasso Sea area or have an interest in high seas conservation.

In addition to hearing from the keynote speakers, students will break up into small groups for a variety of field trips and workshops, including the opportunity to delve into their creative side crafting a mural with local artist Graham Foster, beach art made from marine debris that has washed ashore, and a creative writing session.

Dr. Bacon noted, “The first BZS Youth Conference programme was launched in April 2000 with a grant from the Ernest E. Stempel Foundation. The Foundation’s continued support through the years demonstrates their dedication to teaching future generations about our environment, as well as a long-term vision for the protection of Bermuda’s natural heritage.

“BZS is grateful for the loyalty of the Ernest E. Stempel Foundation and the generous support of our partner organisations: BAMZ, BIOS, BEN, KBB and the Sargasso Sea Alliance.”

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Category: All, Environment