It is easy to understand why most of us enjoy living in Northwest Florida. The beautiful beaches, creeks, rivers and the Choctawhatchee Bay offer extraordinary opportunities to fish, explore, swim and thrive in the diverse ecosystems that surround us.
Have you ever wondered who watches over the health of our beautiful waterways? It’s the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance of Northwest Florida State College. CBA has several facets that restore, educate, monitor and research a large geographic area called Choctawhatchee basin watershed. The watershed itself stretches from the headwaters of the Pea River in Alabama, south to the Choctawhatchee River to the Gulf of Mexico, and includes tributaries and coastal dune lakes.
CBA is committed to sustaining and providing optimum utilization of the Choctawhatchee Basin watershed, providing opportunities for citizens, educators, and technical experts to promote the health of Choctawhatchee watershed.
CBA engages students in the Okalossa and Walton County area on a variety of learning opportunities. Students receive hands on education on projects such as invasive plant removal on the coastal dune lakes, to restoring shorelines with restorative grasses.
The Grasses in Classes program gives students a direct role the restoration of Choctawhatchee Bay. Student learn how the grasses provide critical habitat and help prevent erosion. During the year they tend salt marsh nurseries and participate in monthly activities administered by the CBA/AmeriCorps staff. At the end of the program, students will travel to a restoration site along the Choctawhatchee Bay to transplant their matured smooth cordgrass.
CBA currently works with 20 schools in Okaloosa County and Walton County, reaching close to 2,100 students each month. Through this program, CBA hopes to develop young water stewards, who from a young age become aware of their local ecosystems. Throughout May, CBA will host 22 field trips at 8 different restoration sites along the bay. The students will plant close to 25000 shoreline grasses by the end of the month, which in return, will help to slow erosion and provide a critical, intertidal habitat.
For more information about the Grasses in Classes program, contact Brittany Tate at (850) 217-5382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community support aids CBA in acquiring funding that will make a positive change in our environment for the long term.
Learn more at: http://basinalliance.org/