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Audubon Nature Institute Awarded Healthy Communities Grant for ‘Teach Wild: A Lesson on Marine Debris Program’

Education Program for Reducing Land-Based Marine Debris

Audubon Nature Institute (ANI) has been selected to receive the Healthy Communities Grant by Keep Louisiana Beautiful, the state’s premier anti-litter and community improvement organization.

This year’s grant will support ANI’s "Teach Wild: A Lesson on Marine Debris" program to engage sixty regional educators, and two million paid guests including students visiting Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Audubon Zoo on field trips. Visitors will gain a deeper understanding of the effects of marine debris on the environment and have a unique opportunity to make an impact on land- based marine debris within their communities. This grant will help ANI address the causes of land-based marine debris, its impacts on the environment and what individuals can do to reduce its effect on local habitats. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration defines marine debris as any persistent, manufactured or processed solid material that is directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment.

“This grant means a lot to Audubon Nature Institute because it gives us the support to educate the public on the effect of plastics and debris on our oceans,'' says Brenda Walkenhorst, Audubon Nature Institute Director of Education Projects. "A healthy ocean is important not only for the marine life that live there, but there is a direct correlation between the health of our ocean and waterways and human health. Many people do not understand that land-based debris ends up in our ocean, no matter how far away that litter started from.”

“Our goal with this opportunity is to educate teachers and the public to make sure that everyone understands that their actions have a consequence and that everyone can make a real positive impact with small changes,” says Walkenhorst.

"Teach Wild: A Lesson on Marine Debris'' is part of an ongoing effort by ANI to encourage the reduction of single-use plastics, like drinking straws.

Click the link below for detailed information and a schedule of the workshops.

Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.