Blue Schools, an ecology- and sustainability-based K-12 curriculum, empowers students—and communities—to become stewards of their beaches, streams, rivers, and ocean. Through Blue Schools, students discover the importance of their local watershed, learn about the pollutants that can contaminate local drinking water, and make a holistic connection between their own environment and the long-term health of the local water supply, wildlife, and our one world ocean.
A centerpiece program of Ocean Blue Project, Blue Schools is a K-12 curriculum that teaches children and young adults to become active environmental stewards. Developed in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, Blue Schools is tailored to the unique needs and attributes of individual classrooms, communities, and watersheds. The ecology-based curriculum contains four main segments:
Grade Level-appropriate, inquiry-based discussion and activities
The ground under your feet is part of a watershed. We all live, work, and play in watersheds. A watershed is an area of land that drains rainfall that form streams to low lying areas and outlets like the mouth of a bay, the outflow of a reservoir, or any point along a stream or river.
Testing scientific hypotheses and participating in ecological activities
Taking part in Community Events
During the third year of the project, we introduced fungi to soil where natives were planted as part of a holistic ecosystem approach that enhances microorganisms in the soil and allows plants to thrive.
Engaged Oregon State University students to restore a section of Sequoia Creek in Corvallis, Oregon. We introduced fungi to soil where natives were planted as part of a holistic ecosystem approach that enhances microorganisms in the soil and allows plants to thrive.
Oak Creek planting 2
Expanded to include an Urban Stream Project at SE Oak Creek that flows through the Linn-Benton Community College campus in Albany. Albany Option School and LBCC students, Oregon State University interns, and Linn County Juvenile Department made up the 24 volunteers that planted 100 native plants from New Beginnings Garden. This project is still being monitored and will continue being enhanced until 2021.
Along with Albany Options School students and community volunteers, Ocean Blue tested water quality and planted 6,200 Native Shrubs And Trees For Streams At Periwinkle Creek Of Albany In Linn County, Oregon to engage students in enhancing wildlife habitat.
Started working with Upward Bound students to clean Lincoln City, OR beach, and in 2019 worked with the group to clean a park along Mill Creek in Salem, OR the following year.
Since the beginning, We Have Placed A Total Of 8,900 Native Plants with students In Oregon Soil.and look forward to helping K-12 students understand the connection between their local environment and our one world ocean.
Stay positive and solution-oriented in all we say and do
Diversity, equity, and inclusion link our core values of collaboration, equality, action, and nobility together. Ocean Blue strives to collaborate with agencies, organizations, and individuals from diverse backgrounds as we uplift others who share our vision. In other words, we provide the tools and resources necessary for anyone wanting to achieve a common goal, and our staff mentors those who may not otherwise have the experience, knowledge, or opportunity to do so. We understand equitable actions achieve equality. We take action by doing the right thing, which means meeting the needs of marginalized communities.
Blue Schools lessons and activities are available for homeschoolers, K-12 classrooms, and learners on virtual platforms. Since The Blue Schools program is tailored to the needs of each teacher, classroom, and watershed, we are able to provide lesson plans and Stewardship Action Projects while adhering to local guidelines related to COVID-19.
Not every student has access to the materials needed to replace single use plastic products. By providing lessons and materials for Title 1 schools, or those reporting a majority economically disadvantaged student population, Ocean Blue gives historically marginalized students the tools and materials required to make individual choices and provides a locus of control for these students to make an impact in their environment.
The founders of Ocean Blue are tribal members of the Choctaw Nation and understand first-hand the importance of State of Oregon Senate Bill 13: Tribal History/Shared History The Essential Understandings of Native Americans in Oregon and The 6 P’s (Critical Orientations for Indigenous Studies Curriculum). This is why Blue Schools integrates place-based curricula and strives to collaborate with tribal nations from any watershed where students are engaged in Blue Schools to ensure acknowledgment of tribal lands, people, and nations at each grade level.