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Fifty-nine 5th-12th-grade students were awarded cash and in-kind prizes worth $10,000

On May 31, 2018 during the EECCOA Challenge 2018 Awards Ceremony at Museum of Ventura County. The students were awarded for their proposals that demonstrated critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed to find sustainable solutions for our pressing environmental issues. Students presented their proposals in a science-fair type of format while volunteer judges made questions and scores based on a rubric. Projects focused on energy efficiency, water conservation, and reduction of waste production of their school campuses or educating a community about ocean acidification. The 15 teams ranked at the event had been previously chosen as top 15 from 92 teams that submitted proposals. Students worked for 2-3 months to develop their proposals, which required research assessments, budget and guidance from their teachers. Thank you teachers Marie Chavis, Christina Yahr, Juan Venegas, Erika Alstot, Jen Sportsman and special recognition to Julia Domenech, for immersing all her 150 students. Thanks to the fantastic and interdisciplinary volunteer judging panel that included:

- Jan Dietrick, Rincon-Vitova Insectaries and Citizens Climate Lobby of Ventura.

- Leila Gonzalez, American Geosciences Institute.

- Linda Chilton, USC Sea Grant.

- Julie Bursek, NOAA Channel Is. National Marine Sanctuary.

- Margaret Dunlevy, Educator Rio School District and Lions Club Tresurer.

- Leigh Lain Walker, Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance.

- Gabrielle Johnson. NOAA International MPA Center and Coral Program.

- Tracy Hart, Environmental Education Consultant.

- David Lantrip, Lantrip Solutions and MERITO Foundation board member.

- Judy Willens, CINC Volunteer and MERITO Foundation board member.

- Jill Santos, Food Forward and MERITO Foundation Vice-president.

- Jennifer Eggertsen, SBCC and MERITO Foundation board member.

Thank you sponsors of EECCOA program including NOAA B-WETT, Ventura Water, Sea Forward Fund, and Island Packers. Also individual donors who are too many to list but we are forever grateful to.

If you would like to support our education, conservation or citizen science programs, you can contact us to volunteer during field studies, present lectures during teachers training workshops or donate to sponsor a students, a school-class or a teacher.

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