The Wetlands Institute is a non-profit organization studying, preserving and protecting wetlands and coastal ecosystems. They provide a fun and interactive educational experience for families, school groups and vacationers of all ages through nature exploration and discovery. Their goal is to inspire communities so they in turn become stewards of their coastal and wetland ecosystem.
What They Do and Why They Do It
First Hurricane Katrina, and now the BP Oil blowout in the Gulf, have underlined the importance of the message The Wetlands Institute has been delivering to people of all ages since their founding 40 years ago: Their very lives depend on sustaining healthy wetlands and coastal ecosystems. They cannot be taken for granted. They must be valued and protected.
Immediately after Katrina people lamented the earlier loss of tens of thousands of acres of wetlands that might have lessened the immense destruction of Katrina’s storm surges. And now, as thick brown rafts of escaped crude oil creep inexorably toward the shore, or descend slowly to smother the ocean bottom and the life that normally teems there, there looms the likely loss of hundreds of millions of dollars from tourism and fishing, and an immeasurable loss of all levels of marine life that sustain us.
They believe that people will value wetlands and coastal ecosystems if they understand how they work and why the health of those systems is so tightly intertwined with ours. That belief is the moving force behind all their programs.
Through their summer nature classes and lectures, through their giving hands-on learning to school children who visit them or are visited by their Outreach team, They have inspired youngsters to care about the environment and to become environmentally literate citizens (and maybe even scientists.)
Our Research and Conservation programs have given university students from around the globe invaluable field research experience, with positive impacts far beyond their facility. The internet is empowering them to reach every corner of the globe. So, from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, to the marshes of Southeast Asia there are Coastal Conservation policies and programs in place that originated with us.