“Ooooooo. Gross!” “Watch how its eyes move!” “Cool! It’s so slimy!” “I’m gonna pick it up!” “Will that thing pinch?” Such comments from youngsters are the norm aboard the M.V. Alletta Morris, a 45-foot motor vessel designed and built specifically for Save The Bay, a private, nonprofit organization established to help protect and restore Narragansett Bay.
Founded in 1970, Save The Bay launched its first educational program in 1986 to teach children and adults how to be stewards of the irreplaceable estuary. One of most important natural resources in Rhode Island, the bay has a big economic impact on the state through recreation and tourism.
Yet for the past several decades, the bay has suffered ecologically from harmful human activities. Save The Bay’s education efforts teach about pollutants while also recognizing that society benefits, for example, from job-creating industry, the treatment of waste water and the electricity generated by power plants.
Save The Bay generally teaches in four locations: aboard the Alletta Morris, launched in 2001; using kayaks and canoes along the coastline; at outreach programs when Save The Bay professionals visit schools and other community locales; and at Narragansett BayStation, Save The Bay’s own classroom facility in Newport. BayCamp offers week-long educational sessions during the summer for children entering grades 4-9. Summer programs also target teachers, who can earn required continuing education credits for their participation.