The Commission sponsors programs for urban youth from its Lowell headquarters. The Champlain Basin Educational Initiative goes one better to train teachers to bring the watershed into the classroom.
In Lowell, Massachusetts, we have for many years offered a six-week Youth and the Environment Program. This EPA-funded program introduces high-school students to career opportunities in the environmental field.
The group spends most weekdays at Lowell’s Duck Island Wastewater Treatment Facility. There they assist with day-to-day operations, such as maintenance and water testing in the laboratory.
Weekly field trips include visits to the New England Aquarium, Squam Lake’s Natural Science Center, EPA’s New England Regional Laboratory, and the Deer Island Treatment Plant in Winthrop.
Students also spend an afternoon canoeing and pulling up invasive weeds along the Charles River under the coordination of the Charles River Watershed Association.
We have also from time to time teamed up with EPA New England and community groups to offer a summer youth program in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
The Champlain Basin Educational Initiative offers professional development to primary and secondary education teachers in New York, Vermont, and Quebec. Some programs provide graduate-level academic credits.
NEIWPCC staff members at the Hudson Valley Estuary Program help to run events such as an annual glass-eels count and the Day on the Hudson and Harbor. These events involve thousands of students and volunteers.