Saltwater Classroom

The mission of Saltwater Classroom is to foster an ethic of ocean stewardship for all ages, with special attention to young students, through hands-on ocean education, tech-integration, and global collaboration.

Interview with Alexandra Doudera, Founder and Executive Director of Saltwater Classroom

We are a nonprofit based in Maine that is committed to ocean stewardship, by aiming to change our society’s views of out-of-sight, out-of-mind thinking that consequently has a negative effect on our environment. For too long, our oceans have been on the back burner for many peoples’ perspectives, and this has led to behaviors that result in neglect and degradation of our oceans. The issues facing the oceans are many, and they’re a vast consequence.

To address those issues, we believe the first step is education and starting at the base level, working to inspire people to care about our oceans, love our oceans, and be better stewards of the ocean. Our programming primarily focuses on ocean education with learners of all ages, but our target age range is young students, ages eight to twelve and grades three to six. There’s been a lot of research on this type of environmental education that shows this is the most impactful age range to work with for getting people interested in protecting our environment.

saltwater classroom kids on the beach cleanup hands on learning children

Our programs are twofold: first, we offer in-person workshops that we do here in Maine and elsewhere in schools or as summer programs or after school programs for hands-on education, designed to connect people to the Ocean directly and again, spark that passion and desire for a stewardship ethic.

The second piece is utilizing technology to expand our teachings to a wider audience, and are currently working on creating an app for an online platform approach to learning. We see this as a great way to make learning more accessible to a wider audience, and remove some of the traditional barriers to ocean literacy (geographical location and things like socioeconomic status). Using the power of technology will help us get in front of more people considering how widespread it is now, and it will help us grow this movement.

ocean education with young kids learning ocean stewardship

All donations to Saltwater Classroom support the efforts of this amazing organization, which means you're supporting children's education and the future of our planet.

You can donate to them through the Grateful App or directly here.

kids play on a dock near the ocean learning about conservation

Rubbish! is a special project that advocates for individuals to help clean plastic pollution and garbage from ocean areas. 

We also work with a lot of other conservation-minded nonprofits, as well as aquaculture, farms, and companies to reduce negative effects of pollution on our oceans. There are a lot of gaps in education in these spaces, so there’s a lot of ground to cover.

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