Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) recently honored Ocean Studies Charter School with a plaque for completing a five-year stewardship project as part of the Ocean Guardian Schools program. 

Marlies Tumolo, FKNMS education and outreach leader, awarded the plaque to science teacher Martha Loizeaux, who led the project at Ocean Studies School, where over 200 students have participated in projects ranging from habitat monitoring and restoration to seagrass surveys and trash removal.

Staff from NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary recognize Martha Loizeaux and her students at Ocean Studies Charter School for completing their 5-year stewardship project as a NOAA Ocean Guardian School. UNITED WAY OF COLLIER AND THE KEYS/Contributed

“Students and teachers at Ocean Studies Charter school have shown tremendous dedication to protecting and preserving our beautiful marine environment in the sanctuary, which is evident through their work to plant nearly 100 native mangroves and remove over 13,000 pounds of marine debris from local shoreline,” said Tumolo, who coordinates NOAA’s Ocean Guardian School program in Florida.

NOAA’s Ocean Guardian Schools is a national program that provides funding support and a framework for educators to implement school- or community-based conservation projects that protect their local watershed, the world’s ocean and special ocean areas, like national marine sanctuaries. Ocean Studies Charter School is an A-rated, free public charter school that serves students K-8 through a marine science-enriched curriculum.