The International SeaKeepers Society returns from their outreach program aboard DISCOVERY Yacht Defiance educating a group of 13 children from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County at Newport Shipyard in Newport, Rhode Island.

The group of children and three camp counselors from Camp Grosvenor, where the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport spend their summer, participated in a two hour educational lesson on plastics in the ocean and ways to be more environmentally friendly.

Lauren Day, the camp director, described the success of the program and its complement to their current summer camp:

[quote]“It brought the big picture to Camp Grosvenor. Everyone was super engaged, even the counselors.”[/quote]

The program began at the Newport Shipyard with a presentation by Clean Ocean Access about ways the children can become involved in local efforts to keep the ocean and beaches clean and accessible to all. The children then decorated the sails of a coastal drifter constructed and provided by Jim Manning and his student-built drifter program. The drifter will be launched off the coast of New England later this month, and used to study local surface currents and supply data to NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System.

The program continued onboard Defiance as the scientists, children, and camp counselors traveled through Newport Harbor for a lesson on plastic pollution. The scientists explained the hazards of plastic pollution in the form of plastic microbeads, which are found in many face washes and toothpastes. The children examined plastic microbeads and plastic pollution in water samples collected from the ocean and New England harbors.

This is the second DISCOVERY Yachts outreach program onboard Defiance. In January Defiance traveled to Bimini, Bahamas to conduct an outreach program and drifter release with a group of local school children. Defiance plans to participate in more outreach programs in the near future.

The Newport outreach program included six educators dedicated to ocean conservation efforts including, SeaKeepers Director of Programs and Policies, Angela Rosenberg; DISCOVERY Yachts member and Co-Owner and Founder of Global Oceans, Claudia Potamkin; Co-Owner and Founder of Global Oceans, Captain Sandra Yawn; Founder of Ports of Cause, Joyce Clear; Professor of Earth Science at Massasoit Community College, Melany McFadden; and Dave McLaughlin, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Clean Ocean Access.

Defiance was built by Overmarine