Gulf Guardian Award 2019: Celebrate the Gulf Marine Education Festival

[Music]>>Jessica Rankin:
Celebrate the Gulf is an environmental festival. Our entire goal is to
educate residents and visitors about the importance
of our Gulf of Mexico. Our festival is held
in Pass Christian. We’re at a park that is
just a block off of the beach here in
south Mississippi. So, it really gives us the
benefit of getting able to say these are the things
we’re talking about and here’s a real-world
example of it. [“reinforce our stream banks”]>>Avery Sward: It
is the largest marine education festival in the
state of Mississippi. We had over 40
partners here. We had universities from
all over the state. We had some governmental
agencies, federal and state government. We had some local partners
within this community, like libraries; and then
we also had some artists here that did posters
and things for the kids.>>Jessica Rankin: The
leading thing that people that litter have in common
is that they don’t believe their actions have an
impact on the world. And so, I think one of the
main things at this event is that we can teach these
young stewards, these young children that are
going to take our place eventually, that you can
have an impact on your world, that a small change
in how you go about your daily life can have a big
impact on our environment.>>Avery Sward: We have
such a diverse group of partners because we’re all
here to educate these kids and these families about the importance of the Gulf of Mexico. And we all do that in
different ways, either through art or through
science and research. [“Ready?”]>>Jessica Rankin: We’ve
had a lot of art projects, where we’re really
emphasizing reusing materials and making them
into something beautiful. So, we had the library
here that was using old CDs, and they were talking
about a Rainbow Fish story, and taking those
old CDs and actually creating
Rainbow Fish. [“Just tap them in a little bit.”] We had our Crosby
Arboretum here, where you could plant a seed and
grow your own plant. We had the Mississippi
Aquarium here that had several different things
where you can actually touch. We’ve had other rescue
operations here that had animals to show them. And we really try really
hard to make sure that our one-day event has the
biggest impact that it can have.>>Avery Sward: To see
a kid that gets to touch a shark for the first time,
or a kid that plants a seed and is excited to take
it home and make a tree, seeing that kid’s smile
about their project or a piece of art they created,
it just gives you hope that the future’s got this. These kids are going
to make a difference. [Music]>>Narrator: Congratulations
to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources for its Celebrate the Gulf Marine Education Festival, the first-place Gulf Guardian award winner
in the partnerships category.

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