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Everglades Environmental Advocacy and Citizen Activism Program (ECAP)

ECAP — a grant-funded summer program for middle school students — is excited to engage students in local grassroots activism and advocacy this summer!

We will introduce students to ongoing community and regional efforts related to Everglades restoration in Martin County and provide opportunities for students to learn the nuts and bolts of community engagement as part of ongoing Everglades restoration projects and related work.

Meet your ECAP Team!

Nat Osborne
Nat Osborne

Nathaniel Osborn is the chair of the history department at The Pine School and has taught social studies at the secondary and college level since 2003.  His book Indian River Lagoon: An Environmental History (University Press of Florida) received the 2017 Stetson Kennedy Book Award from the Florida Historical Society. 

Osborn is a Trustee of the Martin County Library System. He is a popular speaker at regional events, and his community service also includes a long stint as the Chair of the Martin County Historic Preservation Board.

Kenny Russell
Kenny Russell

Kenny Russell is a lifelong and multi-generational resident of Florida with roots going back 6 generations. He grew up with lots of outside time and developed quite a passion for Florida ecology and Florida history. Currently, Mr. Russell is teaching science and social studies to middle schoolers at Murray Middle School in Stuart, where has been an instructor for 6 years. In addition to his role at Murray Middle School, Kenny is the lead instructor for an after-school STEM lab, as well as coach of a LEGO first robotics team.

Program Dates and Outline

This program is free of charge and will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 10 a.m. both days. Tuesdays will run until 11:30 a.m., and Thursday will end at varying times, depending on the field trip. The ECAP program will run for 6 weeks from the week of June 14th through the week of July 19th.

Tuesday’s format will be virtual — via an online platform — workshop-style discussions that will give attendees a foundational knowledge of Everglades Restoration and local water issues and will be supported by Guest Speakers from local organizations.

Thursday’s format will be in-person field trips where feasible given COVID-19 restrictions and the possible presence of cyanobacteria blooms in our local waters.

The program will culminate with a final advocacy project of the student’s choosing. This may be a letter to the editor, supporting a rally, giving public comment at a local meeting, etc.

Dates and Workshop TopicGuest Speakers
Tuesday’s @ 10:30 via Zoom
Field Trips
Thursday’s @ 10:30 – locations detailed below
Week 1:
“What are the Everglades?”
June 15th 
Audrey Peterman

June 17th
Field trip:

Virtual Tour of the Everglades
Week 2:
“How are the Everglades threatened?”
June 22nd

Speaker Pending
June 24th
Field trip:

Schooner Lily (St Lucie Estuary) – Shepards Park at 600 SW Ocean Boulevard. Please park in the second parking lot by the playground and seawall. Boarding begins promptly 15 minutes before departure, and the sail will leave at the scheduled time of 10:30 a.m.
Week 3:
“Who is trying to help?”
June 29th 

Mark Perry – Florida Oceanographic Society
July 1st
Field trip:

Florida Oceanographic Society – we will meet at the Coastal Center on Hutchinson Island at 10:30 a.m. 
Week 4:
“Who is in charge of the Everglades?”
July 6th

Jacqui Thurlow Lippisch – South Florida Water Management District 
July 8th
Field trip: Lake Okeechobee – Pending
Week 5:
“How are they trying to help?”
July 13th

Mike Connor – Indian Riverkeeper
July 15th
Field trip:

We’ll meet along the river – more details to follow soon
Week 6: 
“I can help protect the Everglades by doing__________”
July 20th

Maggie Hurchalla – Environmental Activist 
July 22nd 
Field trip:

A choice to participate in the following:
River’s Coalition Meeting

Registration Form