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GPSA for the Environment

Down East in North Carolina, USA is a string of  fishing villages along the inland side of Core Sound. These fishing villages have a rich culture and exhibit strong pride in their history and its people. Though geographically remote, their culture has been developed through a history of maritime work that connected the Down East communities to the rest of the country by boat. Many were boatbuilders. And, many were fishermen.

Despite the determination and dedication to the fishing industry, as the environment has changed, this livelihood and unique culture has been threatened. Fish catches have declined over the past decade for a number of reasons.  The people of Down East are resilient. They have demonstrated this reliance in the face of hurricanes, a
dwindling economy, and a dying fishing industry. Locals have formed fishing cooperatives, and some have begun to explore aquaculture technologies. GPSA wants to make sure that the rich heritage and bold determination results in stability and success.

Oyster Farming and Aquaculture

Long rows of oyster cages replace the traditional raking techniques.  But unlike terrestrial farming, this otherwise sustainable approach is subjected to frequent mass die offs.  Closed system aquaculture may be highly sustainable, if the waste water can be processed.  But how?  These are just a few of the projects that high school students can explore through hands-on, engineering design challenges.

Partnerships

GPSA is looking for organizations interested in partnerships in Environmental Engineering.  Schools, clubs and other groups who are interested in applying engineering principals to making a difference in the world can create experiential learning programs that motivate high school students with meaningful projects.  If you are interested, contact Lennert Rohde (lennert.rohde@gpsa.org)